Man Brutally Murders Woman He Mistook for Ex-Girlfriend

A man from Virginia, identified as Richard Montano, has been found guilty of a horrific crime that involved the fatal assault, stabbing, and incineration of a woman he mistakenly thought was his ex-girlfriend. The victim, Silvia Vaca Abacay, a mother of two, was temporarily living in the apartment of Montano’s former girlfriend when the incident took place.

The dreadful event unfolded on August 10, 2022, when law enforcement officers were summoned to an apartment in Falls Church due to reports of a domestic altercation. Upon their arrival, the officers were met with a chilling sight: smoke was pouring out of the apartment, and Abacay was found severely injured and ablaze. Despite immediate attempts to put out the fire and save her, Abacay was declared dead at the scene. A subsequent autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed ten times.

Fatima Via, Montano’s ex-girlfriend, was present in court during the pronouncement of the verdict. Overcome with guilt, Via expressed her regret to a local NBC affiliate, stating that Montano had intended to harm her, not Abacay.

Fairfax County Police Major Ed O’Carroll characterized the incident as “horrific and profoundly sad.” Concurrently, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano described it as one of the most unsettling crime scenes he had ever encountered.

Investigators quickly zeroed in on Montano as a suspect, citing surveillance footage that captured him entering the apartment before the murder. Law enforcement officials believe that Montano forced his way into the apartment, murdered Abacay, and then set her on fire in an attempt to hide his crime. He was subsequently apprehended at his residence in Arlington.

Montano’s sentencing is set for January 19. In the aftermath of this tragedy, a fundraising page has been established to assist Abacay’s family. The page describes her as a dedicated mother, loving wife, and a cheerful individual who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Her untimely death has left her family and friends in a state of shock and deep sorrow.