Kayleah Wilson's Boyfriend Arrested

Police: Sexual Assault Case Is Separate, Distinct From Homicide Investigation

The search for Kayleah Wilson's killer or killers revved up Friday as police arrested her former boyfriend for sexual assault on a child.

Robert Laurencio Montoya was arrested on Wednesday but his arrest wasn't announced until Friday afternoon. Montoya is 18, Kayleah was 12.

"This arrest culminated an investigation that developed from information that probable cause existed to believe the suspect was involved in a sexual relationship with Kayleah Wilson," said Greeley Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych. "This arrest is separate and distinct from the Kayleah Wilson homicide case that is currently being investigated."

Montoya was formally charged with sexual assault on a child and one count of sexual assault on a child as a pattern of abuse -- both felonies.

In count one, Montoya is accused of committing sexual assault on a child from Jan. 18 to March 28, the day Kayleah disappeared, court records said. In count two, he is accused of a pattern of sexual abuse of a child from Jan. 18 to March 28, the records state.

Jan. 18 was when Montoya turned 18.

Montoya is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Tymkowych said there were rumors of Kayleah's possible pregnancy but he couldn't confirm them. He said police believe the relationship with Kayleah started last fall, when Montoya was 17.

All court records on the case have been sealed by the Weld District Attorney's Office.

Kayleah went missing on March 28, shortly after leaving her family's apartment in the 2800 block of 28th Street at about 4 p.m. She was walking a short distance to a birthday party at a friend's house on the south side of the nearby Greeley Mall.

Kayleah failed to meet another friend who was going to walk to the party with her and never arrived at the party. A blurry surveillance video shows someone resembling Kayleah walking through the mall parking lot but police said it is not certain that the person in the video is Kayleah.

The birthday party was supposed to end at 7 p.m. and Kayleah was due back home by 8 p.m. When she failed to return home, her mother found out Kayleah never made it to the party. That's when she called police. It was about 10 p.m.

Robert Montoya Police asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for an Amber alert on Kayleah but it wasn't issued because there was no proof she was in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death. -- a safeguard put in place to prevent multiple Amber Alerts going out on a daily basis, thus desensitizing the public to them.

A friend of Kayleah's told 7NEWS that Montoya was spotted walking by her apartment several days after she disappeared and he acted suspiciously. When asked what he was doing, he told the friend he was looking for Kayleah.

Police had been stymied for nearly two months because there was no way to determine if Kayleah had run away or met with foul play. There were no reports of a possible abduction or struggle in the area. With no clues to lead them either way, police had very little to go on in the search for the Greeley sixth-grader.

When Kayleah's body was discovered on Wednesday, it gave police a starting point for the investigation. When the autopsy confirmed Kayleah was killed, the manner of death provided additional information to homicide investigators.

Police said they wouldn't publicly reveal how Kayleah was killed in order to protect the investigation.

Forensic Investigation

Now, working with the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Greeley police likely have a better forensic profile of Kayleah's killer or killers, given the approximate time and manner of death and the method of disposal of the body.

The profile might help police determine if the crime was committed by someone who knew Kayleah or if it was a crime of opportunity, carried out by a stranger, or strangers, acting on impulse.

This photo, posted on a social media website of April Wilson, shows Robert Montoya playing video games at her apartment. Investigators will likely look at the estimated time of death in an effort to determine how long Kayleah was alive after her disappearance. This information could help the FBI develop a detailed psychological profile of the killer. However, the fact that the body had been in cold weather and water for two months might prevent pathologists from accurately determining an approximate date of death.

Cooler temperatures might also help investigators in their search for evidence, according to a local professor of diagnostic and biological services.

"It's cold weather so there is a chance (evidence) could be preserved for a longer period of time than it would be in hot weather," said Dr. John D. McDowell at the University of Colorado, Denver.

He said the ditch water also contaminated the body, making the job of sifting through forensic evidence much harder.

It means the forensic examination of the body will take longer than usual.

"It is very difficult but they want justice for Kayleah. If that means the police have to hold onto the body a while longer, the family is okay with that," Wilson family spokesman Kristopher Poskey told 7NEWS on Friday.

Also added to the psychological profile, how Kayleah was killed. Police will also check see if the modus operandi -- commonly called the perpetrator's "M.O." or "method of operation -- in the Kayleah case matches any similar unsolved crimes in other jurisdictions.

Investigators will also try to determine where the body was dropped in the canal and if the body was clothed or nude at the time. This information would also aid investigators in developing a profile of the killer and possibly reveal if the killer was familiar with the area.

"We've got a lot of work to do now," Police Chief Jerry Garner said at a Thursday briefing. It was not immediately clear why Garner chose to withhold the information about Montoya's Wednesday's arrest during the briefing.

Behavioral Changes

About a week after Kayleah disappeared, the FBI announced a $20,000 reward for information that would help solve the case.

FBI Agent-In-Charge James Davis released a list of behavioral changes in a person that might point to someone involved in Kayleah's disappearance.

Among those possible changes that might re-manifest themselves now that the body has been found:

  • Coming up with an excuse to leave the area unexpectedly for what may sound like a good reason. (work-related, visiting relatives)
  • Missing work, calling in sick, asking to change shifts, particularly on days close to the night Kayleah disappeared or after the body was discovered.
  • An unexpected or sudden interest in the status of this investigation. Paying close attention to the media, or avoiding participation in any conversations or activities related to this case.
  • Minimizing or denying a known acquaintance with Kayleah.
  • A recent display of nervousness or irritability.
  • A recent increase or decrease in expressing religious beliefs.
  • Changes in routine sleep patterns.
  • Changes in their ‘usual’ consumption of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.
  • Shaving off facial or head hair, or growing a mustache or beard.
  • No longer driving, or changing the appearance of his personal or work vehicle for no obvious reason. Leaving it parked in a shed or garage. Covering it, painting it, selling it or reporting it stolen. Giving it away.
  • Davis said that if an individual exhibits some of these changes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re involved in some kind of crime, but he wants the public to be aware of the possibility.

    Police have also talked to all registered sex offenders in the area but will likely look at previous crimes by sex offenders that may fit the Kayleah Wilson abduction profile -- a younger girl grabbed while walking through a public area.

    A tipline is in operation for the public to call police: 970-350-9600.

    "We need information, even if seems like something we already know," Garner said. "We encourage people to keep calling us with information and we need everything we can get."

    Garner said no one has been ruled out but investigators have nothing that points them to family members.

    April Wilson has gone into seclusion as she attempts to cope with the loss of her daughter. A family spokesman said in a statement Friday that April Wilson is grateful for everything from law enforcement to volunteer searchers to the outpouring of community support expressed during the two-month ordeal.

    "We all know that Kayleah is in a better place; she will not be forgotten," the statement said.

    April Wilson's MySpace page was updated on Thursday. It said, "I love you baby girl. WE miss you but Thank you God (f)or the 12 years we had."