Gilbert Ray Montano- Arizona- 1986/1987 Mar 14, 2017 13:29:09 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Mar 14, 2017 13:29:09 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: 12news.com Arizona)
From 12news.com Arizona:
Name: Gilbert Ray Montano
Age: 73 years old
Description: Hispanic male, 5'5" with brown eyes and black hair at the time of his disappearance
Last seen: Jan. 9, 1987
Wanted for: Child molestation, flight to avoid prosecution, sentencing on theft and fraud charges he entered into plea agreement
Gilbert Ray Montano pleaded guilty to fraud charges but skipped out on sentencing after finding out he was being investigated for child molestation by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Montano was later indicted by a grand jury on the molestation charges.
Montano, an attorney, was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona on Oct. 6, 1974. He lived in Chandler Heights.
The State Bar of Arizona began an investigation in the early '80s and in 1985, the Arizona Supreme Court found that Montano had committed multiple violations of the Arizona Code of Professional Responsibility. In several cases Montano failed to perform work for clients who'd retained his services, deceived clients into believing he was working on their respective cases and delayed returning retainers to his clients. What's more, one of his clients entrusted Montano with more than $10,000 which was to be put in a trust account. The Arizona Supreme Court disbarred Montano on May 28, 1985.
Montano was disbarred again by the Arizona Supreme Court on March 24, 1986 when information came to light that was not known before his first disbarment.
On June 11, 1986 Montano was indicted on one count of fraud and two counts of theft. Montano was arrested and booked into the MCSO jail. He was accused of defrauding Refugio Garcia of an $85,000 wrongful death settlement in 1983 by telling her he would invest the money but instead keeping it. The theft charges stem from a personal injury settlement of $7,000 to Robert Correa and a $13,000 wrongful death settlement to Donna Miller. Later that year, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Montano on 11 more counts of theft in connection with $117,000 taken from five victims.
Montano eventually entered into a plea agreement and was scheduled to be sentenced in 1986. But he didn't show up for sentencing. Meanwhile, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into accusations Montano was molesting young girls. Investigators determined there were at least three victims. Sexual assault examinations were performed at Mesa Lutheran Hospital and confirmed the molestation and sexual abuse. One victim told investigators she was made to have sexual intercourse with Montano "one thousand times." The report also showed Montano gave his victims gifts and told them not to tell anyone or he'd get in trouble. The details of the MCSO report were so graphic it's not suitable for television, print or public dissemination even in redacted form.
On Jan. 9, 1987 Montano learned about the MCSO probe and was confronted by his wife. It was later learned Montano failed to come home that day and asked his employer for an advance on his paycheck. FBI Special Agent Ty Woods says Montano boarded Southwest Airlines flight #554 at Sky Harbor Airport to Albuquerque, New Mexico at 2:33 p.m. that day. Inside the Albuquerque airport, he met with Robert Hall, an attorney who was his friend.
Hall told investigators Montano requested he give him $500, citing that he needed the money to help his family. Hall gave him only $100. According to the MCSO investigative report, Hall said Montano told him that a judge had given him a travel pass and that we has taking a connecting flight to Denver. But Special Agent Woods says at the time, there were no connecting flights on Southwest Airlines from Albuquerque to Denver. That was the last time anyone had sight of Montano.
Montano's wife told MCSO detectives she'd received a postcard from her husband four days after he disappeared. The postcard was postmarked Jan. 10, 1987 from Albuquerque and told her where to find the car. She told detectives it said their car was parked in Terminal 1 at Sky Harbor Airport, and told the detective the card said something like, "It's All Over. Goodbye." She also told detectives that she did not feel the postcard was a "suicide note."
On Aug. 6, 1987, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Gilbert Ray Montano for these alleged crimes. Montano seemingly dropped off the grid. It's been more than 30 years since he disappeared and it's possible he may have started a new life elsewhere.
This is what we do know about Montano: "He was licensed and practiced law in Colorado and Arizona. But he's got a wide variety of skill sets. He's fluent in Spanish, Chinese, and multiple other South Asian dialects. He's lived oversees in the Hong Kong area. He had business ventures that were starting in China. He had his teaching certificate and he was teaching at a collegiate level, business law classes," said FBI Special Agent Ty Woods.
"So he's got quite a repertoire of tools that he can use to hide himself and also to sustain himself," said Woods.
The aging case is maddening for the special agent.
"Our job is to bring people to justice. But there's also a deep-seeded fight for a victim, because that's giving a voice to a victim and giving them justice. Because if we don't do it, nobody else will," Woods said. "Even though 30 years later, it's important we don't let anything go by the wayside. Like I said before, we, law enforcement, has a very long memory and it's a very motivated group of people to bring justice for these victims."
"I don't have any evidence that he did flee the country. So he could be under an assumed name, living in the state, living in Colorado, or somewhere else in the United States."
The victims of the fraud he committed against his clients at the time were primarily from his local congregation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Woods says it's possible "that he's gone back in and sought help from the LDS church, or could be at any location there."
Montano also had quite an extensive background in a variety of trades. He worked as a drywaller and has experience in construction, landscaping and culinary arts.
Montano has a few unique identifiers. Woods says Montano served in the Vietnam War and while overseas, he suffered a back injury. Woods believes it's possible Montano may have reached out to some VA facility for treatment. At the time of his disappearance Montano had high blood pressure and kidney problems. His front right tooth may be chipped on the bottom and he has a quarter-sized scar on his left leg in the middle of his calf.
If you have any information on 73-year-old Gilbert Ray Montano call the FBI in Phoenix at 623-466-1999 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377).
Thoughts? Montano would be 73 years today which is still relatively young by 2017 standards. Even 30 years later, it's never too late for justice.
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