Kayleah Wilson: Robert Montoya still of interest in homicide despite sex crime conviction

Update: On Friday, Robert Montoya was convicted of two sex assault counts revolving around his relationship with Kayleah Wilson, who was then twelve-years-old.

Of course, Wilson was found murdered last year, and Montoya was declared as a person of interest in the investigation -- and a spokesman for the Greeley Police Department makes it clear he still is.

Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, GPD's spokesman, confirms that "we have an active, ongoing homicide investigation" in Wilson's death. "We have detectives assigned to the case, as we have since the beginning."

How many? "It varies depending on what information we're looking at," he notes. "We have two who are primarily involved in the case, and if something else comes up, we still have resources available from the FBI. We're continuing to look at all leads they get, as well as any they develop."

Regarding Montoya, Tymkowych suggests a call to the Weld County District Attorney's Office, which successfully prosecuted him on the sex-assault matter. However, DA spokeswoman Jennifer Finch notes that because the GPD has yet to present a formal murder case, she can't comment on an open investigation.

Clearly, however, authorities in Greeley haven't stopped looking into the possibility that Montoya is culpable in the homicide case just because he now faces up to eight years in prison. Look below to get details about that and see our earlier coverage.

Previous item, 2:38 p.m. March 25: Robert Montoya, now nineteen, has been ID'd as a person of interest in the murder of Kayleah Wilson, twelve -- but that's not the charge on which he was put on trial.

Instead, Montoya went before a jury on accusations of sexual assault, one involving a pattern of abuse. And a short time ago, he was found guilty of both counts.

As noted by the Greeley Tribune, Montoya's defense centered on the question of whether his sexual relationship with Wilson had ended prior to his eighteenth birthday, in late January of last year. But attempts to sow doubt about dates obviously didn't take root. As noted by Weld County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jennifer Finch a short time ago, "Robert Montoya was found guilty of Sexual Assault on a Child (class four felony) and Sexual Assault on a Child as a Pattern of Abuse (class three felony). Montoya, who faces 8 years to life in prison, will be sentenced on June 3, 2011, at 11 a.m."

Of course, more questions remain than simply whether Montoya will receive the maximum sentence. At this point, no one has been accused of killing Wilson, let alone found guilty of doing so.

Look below for our earlier coverage.

Previous item, 7:31 a.m. March 23: Last March, the disappearance of Greeley's Kayleah Wilson, age twelve, riveted the community -- and the discovery of her body shook locals to their core.

A year later, the trial of Robert Montoya, identified as a person of interest in the case, is finally getting underway. But the charges against Montoya don't include murder.

Instead, as noted in the Greeley Tribune article linked above, Montoya faces two counts of sexual assault, one involving a pattern of abuse.

Montoya, nicknamed "Devil Nero" on his old MySpace page, actually lived with the Wilson family for a time, according to an arrest affidavit on view below. In it, he claimed that Kayleah (whose name is redacted in the document) asked him to physically abuse her and suggested that she might "possibly" be pregnant.

Yep, she and Montoya, who was eighteen at the time of his arrest, had a sexual relationship. Montoya told detectives that they considered themselves to be boyfriend and girlfriend -- at least until he was ordered to move out of the Wilson family home.

The document says Montoya's relationship with Kayleah ended in mid-February 2010, a month and a half or so before she vanished. In the interim, the affidavit says, Montoya tried to make contact with her at the middle school she attended, and even admitted to hiding out in the bushes outside her house.

Of such things is the designation "person of interest" made -- and there's more. In October 2009, Montoya and his sister had to move out of their mother's house because she was involved with Jonas Garcia, a registered sex offender who couldn't be around children.

In opening statements at the trial, the Tribune reports, Weld County Deputy District Attorney Hollie Wilkinson said the aforementioned sexual relationship started just before Montoya turned eighteen and continued afterward. Defense attorney Vincente Vigil hinted at a lack of evidence that the pair continued having sex after he was legally an adult. But neither was able to raise the question that's haunted everyone involved for nearly twelve months: Who killed Kayleah?

Page down to read Montoya's complete arrest affidavit.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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