Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A 24-year-old woman charged with murder in the death of her grandmother in Bell remained jailed Monday in lieu of $2 million bail.

Sarah Montoya was arrested Wednesday and appeared in a Downey courtroom Friday in connection with the death of Paula Montoya, whose body was discovered July 21 in her residence in the 6600 block of Pine Avenue.

Her arraignment was continued to Aug. 18.

Sheriff’s investigators said the 64-year-old woman was last seen alive at her home three days before her body was found by deputies conducting a welfare check. She was described by sheriff’s officials as an active member of her local church, a “doting grandmother of six children and an attentive great- grandmother to four children.”

Detectives said today the woman was strangled, and she also had broken ribs and a bruise on her head. She was found in a bathroom wrapped in plastic and a blanket, officials said.

A motive for the attack is unclear, but according to sheriff’s officials, Sarah Montoya told investigators she simply “snapped.”

Detectives said last week that Sarah Montoya and her four children, ranging in age from 1 to 9, were the last people to see Paula Montoya alive. They also said she was believed to have fled to Mexico, and that’s where she was found with her children, Elijah, Yosu, Joshua and Abagail. The children were recovered unharmed.

“We got information from public sources that confirmed that Sarah Montoya was in Mexico,” sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson said. “The Mexican authorities detained Sarah and the four children at the Otay Mesa crossing. After some paperwork, she was actually turned over to the U.S. Marshals Office with the children.”

—City News Service

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