Details of Disappearance
Jeanette was last seen at her Reno, Nevada home by a real estate agent on January 13, 2003. On January 21, she had a phone conversation with her ex-husband. She has never been heard from again.
On January 25, Jeanette's husband, Lyle Marsh Montgomery, abandoned her son in a Shopko in Salt Lake City, Utah. A photograph of Montgomery are posted with this case summary.
Jeanette's son was only three years old at the time of his abandonment and could not remember his last name or the full name of his mother, so it took several days to identify him. It was only then that authorities realized Jeanette was missing.
Montgomery fled after abandoning the child, but he was apprehended after a few days later and charged with misdemeanor child abuse. He is considered a suspect in Jeanette's disappearance.
He had been married to her for less than a month prior to her disappearance, and there have been questions as to whether or not the marriage was legal: Jeanette may not yet have been legally divorced from her previous husband when she married Montgomery. She had previously accused him of domestic abuse, in October 2002.
Jeanette's son told Salt Lake City Police that his stepfather fired a shot at his mother, but missed. Several guns, knives, and boxes of ammunition were found in their home when authorities searched it.
The bed and dresser were missing from the master bedroom. A large amount of blood was present in the bedroom, with smaller dribbles in the shower area, hallway, and entryway of the residence. Blood had soaked through the carpet and the carpet pad and stained the floor beneath. DNA tests determined that the blood was Jeanette's.
Montgomery attempted suicide with an overdose of drugs and alcohol in his and Jeanette's home and was treated at a psychiatric hospital before being released on February 27. After he was released from jail, shortly before midnight on April 8, 2003, he shot himself to death. He did not leave a note.
Authorities still believe he had something to do with his wife's disappearance, but since his death the investigation has stalled.
Jeanette's son was sent to live with his biological father in California. Jeanette's case remains unsolved. She has disappeared before, but always stayed in contact with her family and returned home soon. Authorities are investigating her case as a homicide.