FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — A man is now charged after allegedly breaking into a woman's home in a Falls Church apartment complex, setting her on fire and leaving her to die, police announced Thursday.
The suspect has been identified as 47-year-old Richard Montano, from Arlington. Police said that at this time, he appears to have known the woman as an acquaintance; they have no evidence of a stronger relationship. He did not live in the home with her.
Neighbors said they heard the victim, 40-year-old Silvia Vaca Abacay, screaming for help Wednesday, according to police. Officers were called to the 2900 block of Willston Place in Falls Church to investigate a domestic disturbance around 3 p.m.
Those who love her told police they know her by the name Kelly. Friends tell WUSA9 that she's originally from Bolivia and moved here several years ago; her two teenage children are still in Bolivia.
When officers arrived, they found Fairfax Fire crews also pulling up to the apartment complex. Crews then bravely entered the apartment, according to Fairfax County Police Bureau Chief Ed O'Carroll who announced details on Thursday, coming face-to-face with the woman on fire.
First responders then attempted to save Abacay but she died from her injuries. One officer suffered smoke inhalation as a result of their efforts, the chief said.
"They tried everything they could," O'Carroll said.
Police have since confirmed that her body was also recovered with stab wounds.
Montana is being held with no bond. Police say he is the same person of interest identified soon after the incident, after reports of an individual seen running away from the apartment. Police said he is currently the only suspect.
Police confirmed Thursday that the investigation remains active and that anyone who has any information should contact the department.
Abacay's family has started a GoFundMe to help cover expenses. To contribute, click here.
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