FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — The man who killed a mother of two and then set her on fire was convicted of first degree murder and guilty of arson of an occupied dwelling.
Richard Montano, 48, killed Silvia “Kelly” Vaca Abacay, 40, on Aug. 10, 2022. He stabbed her and then set her body on fire to try and hide the fact that he killed her. At the time, Abacay was staying at her friend’s apartment who was Montano’s ex-girlfriend’s place.
Evidence from the trial showed that Montano had entered the apartment that afternoon, likely trying to kill his ex-girlfriend after the pair ended their relationship of eight years. A neighbor’s Ring camera footage showed that he entered her apartment on multiple occasions in the preceding month without her knowing. The neighbor called 911 four times the afternoon they heard screaming and banging from across the hall.
Medical examiners found that Abacay died from multiple “sharp and blunt force wounds” before she was set on fire. Prosecutors think that he mistakenly thought Abacay was his ex-girlfriend when he killed her.
Montano faces up to life in prision for both charges. His sentencing will be on Jan. 19, 2024.