via Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
via Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Authorities Tuesday put out a call for public help to find a 24-year-old woman described as a “person of interest” in the “suspicious” death of her grandmother in Bell and whose own four young children are also missing.

Sarah Montoya is being sought in connection with the death of Paula Montoya, whose body was discovered July 21 in her residence in the 6600 block of Pine Avenue.

Sheriff’s investigators said the 64-year-old woman was last seen alive three days earlier at her home. She was described in a sheriff’s statement as an active member in her local church, a “doting grandmother of six children and an attentive great-grandmother to four children.”

Detectives did not release the cause of the woman’s death. Her body was wrapped in a blanket and discovered by police responding to a request for a welfare check.

“We believe that Paula’s granddaughter, Sarah Montoya … and her four children, ranging in age from 1 to 9, were the last ones to see Paula alive,” sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson said at a news conference. “The body was discovered in a way that was suspicious in nature. I can’t describe specifics on the case at this time.” Julia Isham also took part in the news conference, speaking directly to her daughter.

“Sarah, I love you honey so much, and I pray that God keeps you and the babies in his hands,” Julia Isham said. “Call me or one of your (aunts) please and we’ll go pick you up wherever you are.”

Sarah’s car apparently was found near the U.S./Mexico border, and detectives said she might have crossed into Mexico with her children. She was described as 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with long brown hair. Her children are named Elijah, Yosu, Joshua and Abagail.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 980-5500.

–City News Service 

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