After 6 months in hiding, Rifle murder suspect arrested in Oregon
When Cassandra Brueckmann answered her door on March 29, Michael Francis Montgomery was there, say Rifle police.
He forced his way in, closed the door behind him and demanded to know where someone named Anthony was, according to an affidavit.
The affidavit states that Brueckmann was home with Christopher Gallegos, Montgomery’s son-in-law. It’d be the last time she’d be with him alive.
When Anthony knocked on the door later that evening, he and Montgomery stepped into the hallway of Brueckmann’s apartment complex in the 2600 block of Acacia Avenue, she told police. She heard Anthony say, “I was going to pay you, fool.”
Gallegos soon went to check on Anthony, and Brueckmann locked the door. The next thing she heard was a gunshot and glass breaking, according to the affidavit.
Brueckmann found Gallegos, 29, lying dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
Another woman at the apartment, Desirae Montgomery, one of Michael’s daughters, told police that Gallegos and her father had a tense history and Gallegos had split open Michael Montgomery’s eye a year before. She said Michael’s father had died recently and that Gallegos had left her sister Kayla and started seeing another woman.
The Police Department obtained an arrest warrant, and a reward was offered for any information on the suspect, Michael Francis Montgomery.
Six months later, Montgomery was apprehended by police in Ontario, Oregon, just before 4 p.m. Monday. It is believed that he camped out near the Snake River in rural Oregon to avoid capture.
Officers with the Ontario Police Department and the High Desert Drug Task Force found and arrested Montgomery Monday as he was leaving an Ontario-area church that provides meals to the needy.
Rifle Chief of Police Tommy Klein said that Montgomery did not resist arrest.
“We are happy that he has been apprehended and will stand trial for the murder of Christopher Gallegos,” Klein said.
Ontario, in southeastern Oregon, is in a remote area near the state’s border with Idaho. Officers believe that Montgomery went into town on occasion, according to a Rifle Police Department press release.
The shooting is the only homicide in Garfield County so far in 2017. The District Attorney’s Office and the Glenwood Springs office of the FBI played a significant role in the investigation and in locating Montgomery, states the press release.
The investigation remains open.
On Tuesday morning, an assistant district attorney from the DA’s office for the 9th Judicial District and a Rifle Police detective arrived in Oregon to work further investigation on the case.