Crime Trackers

Aug 22, 2014 2:49 PM by Lupita Murillo

CrimeTrackers: A man murdered 10 years ago in the Santa Rita Mountains

TUCSON- It's a cold case that's a decade old. However, for the family of Estevan Montano it's like it just happened.

August 2004, the 44-year-old father of six went hunting in the Santa Rita mountains. When he failed to show up on the day he told his wife he was returning, she went looking for him and found him dead.

Pima County Sheriff's detective Charles Garcia told News 4 Crime Trackers, "we have a genetic profile with an unknown source and because of that we have to wait until that source is identified and it's been searched for the past 10 years with no results."

That's heartbreaking for Jessica Montano Gomez who wants answers but at the same time, she knows it won't bring her dad back.

"It's still not going to be ok because dad is not here. "

When Montano was murdered he had five grandsons. His daughter said he couldn't wait for them to get older so he could take them hunting, and fishing.

"It's really sad for the kids because my dad loved his grandsons," Jessica said.

Her son Sal. Jr.was just a toddler and remembers his 'Tata' or grandfather. Now her second son wants to meet him.

"The stories he hears, the memories, he wants that, he wants his "Tata" he wants him here and he can't," Jessica said.

It was August 29, 2004 when Jessica, her mother, and other family members found Estevan dead at a campsite in the Santa Rita mountains. At first they thought he had been mauled by a bear, then they were told he'd been murdered.

It was hard for the family then and it's even more difficult now as her dad's parents age.

"His mom getting sick was due to the loss of her son," Jessica said. "That's what progressed her Alzheimer's and her health problems."

An autopsy report showed he had been shot multiple times.
At the crime scene, detectives found blood that didn't match the victim's and they also found tire tracks from another vehicle.

A witness told detectives, "a sports style car, dark in color that was seen about the time of Mr. Montano's death that was seen driving around in the Santa Rita mountains at a high rate of speed."

Investigators say Montano may have witnessed something he shouldn't have, being the campsite was in an area known for drug and human smuggling.

They ruled out robbery because his cash and weapons weren't taken.

The family is pleading for help.

"Somebody please call in leads and let the detectives work them," Jessica said. "Anything, just anything will help them and help us."

Call 911 or 88-CRIME (882-7463) with information.

If you have a story for Crime Trackers email


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