Trash can on wheels
A woman was arrested for wheeling a trash can full of body parts. / Image: taberandrew/Flickr/CC BY

A California woman was arrested Sunday for allegedly pushing a 30-gallon trash can full of human body parts down a residential street. She was booked on suspicion of murder, and remains uncooperative, police say.

Discovered in broad daylight

Carmen Montenegro, 51, of San Bernardino, Calif., was discovered pushing the wheeled container at about 2:30 in the afternoon. Police were tipped off by reports from several residents in the area who had either seen or smelled the trash can’s gruesome contents.

Ontario Police Detective Jeff Crittendon told reporters that “Officers stopped her leaving the location, and in the trash can we found human remains.”

Police believe a single victim

Police believe the body parts are the partial remains of one man, though the cause of death has not yet been determined. Crittendon said, “I can’t comment on the condition of the body because I am not sure of the exact extent of the injuries. I do know that it was dismembered. It appears to be a homicide.” Crittendon further said that Montenegro “had evidence on her that seemed to be consistent that she was involved with disposal of the body.”

A hole was dug in the lawn

The detective also said that they believe Montenegro disinterred the remains from her former residence.  She was arrested about 200 yards away from the house. After the arrest, police investigated the property and found a hole which had been dug in the lawn.

Suspect lived in house on and off

Local residents report that the home was owned by either Montenegro’s cousin or her mother and that Montenegro herself had lived in the home on and off for the past 15 years.

Investigation continues

Police are still working to determine the victim’s identity. Investigators excavated the property around the home Monday and discovered what they say may be bodily fluids.

Montenegro was booked in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where she remains uncooperative with police investigators.



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