FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Police said they arrested a man who is accused of stabbing a woman whom police found on fire in an apartment in Falls Church Wednesday.

Maj. Ed O’Carroll with the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) said officers arrested Richard Montana, 47, of Arlington.

O’Carroll said at a news conference Thursday that officers were in the 2900 block of Willston Pl. around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday after a neighbor called them about a domestic fight. At the same time, firefighters responded to the location for a fire alarm that was going off.

Police and medics found Silvia “Kelly” Vaca Abacay, 40, who had been stabbed and was on fire. They tried to save her, but they couldn’t.

“I can tell you yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) case was a brutal case,” said O’Carroll. “My description, you get the sense this was a very unfortunate and brutal case.”

O’Carroll said detectives initially called Montana a “person of interest” after someone in the community snapped a picture of him in the area around the time that person heard a woman screaming. The detectives worked off of that and other information and found that Montana was at a home in Arlington. With the help of police officers in Arlington, FCPD officers followed Montana from the home to a gas station and took him into custody.

Richard Montana

Montana faces the following charges:

  • Second Degree Murder
  • Burglary with Intent to Commit Murder
  • Burning of an Occupied Dwelling

He was in jail Thursday afternoon with no bond set.

Meanwhile, friends dropped off flowers and other items outside Vaca Abacay’s apartment as a makeshift memorial.

“A great person, always smiling with a great sense of humor,” said Yerin Ronero. “She was a great friend, a great mother.”

“She was the best. The best friend, the best mother,” said Marian Jimenez. “The best mother in the world, the best person in the world.”

Police said the Vaca Abacay and Montana knew each other, but were not romantically involved.

She shared the apartment with her husband and roommate.

Police said the investigation continues as they are seeking a motive for the crime.