Police Question Abandoned Boy's Stepdad
Jan. 30, 2003
RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A 3-year-old boy found abandoned in a Salt Lake City store was identified as the son of a Reno woman who has been missing for two weeks, authorities said. Police were questioning her husband and said he is believed to be the man who left the boy, his stepson, behind.
Police said they took Lyle Montgomery, 42, in for questioning Wednesday night when they served a search warrant in connection with the hunt for his wife, Jeannette Acord.
``We share the concerns of the Reno Police Department as well as the FBI that there's a high probability of foul play in this matter, and we're looking into her whereabouts,'' Salt Lake City police Lt. Jim Jensen told the NBC ``Today'' show Thursday.
Acord, 28, has not been seen since Jan. 13, and police said Montgomery has refused to discuss her whereabouts.
Montgomery is believed to be the man pictured on a ShopKo security videotape with his 3-year-old stepson, Jonathan Jacob Corpuz, authorities said.
Jonathan was abandoned at the Salt Lake City store Saturday by a man who gave him a toy to play with and walked out. His identity was a mystery for days. Salt Lake City is some 500 miles from Reno.
When asked if Montgomery was the man in the tape, his lawyer, Marc Picker, told the NBC ``Today'' show Thursday that ``I don't think anybody can answer that at the moment.''
In October 2002, Acord brought a criminal complaint against Montgomery in which she said he assaulted her by pulling a firearm on her at his home in the same room as her son, Picker said. He also said the mother disappeared for several weeks, then reappeared and the couple got married.
``I'm not concerned that Mr. Montgomery committed any kind of crime against her. I don't believe he did,'' Picker said. ``I can't answer for anything else that might have happened to Mrs. Montgomery.''
Salt Lake City police expected to file child abuse charges against Montgomery for ``intentionally and knowingly placing this child at risk,'' according to a police statement.
Police Lt. Ron Holladay said police were still searching the home.
``We are trying to find out where his wife is,'' he said. ``That is our primary concern.''
Holladay said Montgomery went to the police station voluntarily for an interview after police went to the house to serve the search warrant.
The child has been placed with a foster family in Utah. Jensen said the his father, who lives in California, spoke with his son Wednesday.
Richard Anderson, director of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services, told the ``Today'' show that the boy was doing well in the foster home, talks about his mother a lot and ``clings very much to the foster mother.''
The boy had told authorities his name was Jacob and his mother's name was Janet or Jeannette, but he didn't know his last name. No one has reported him missing.