Woman 'snaps,' kills grandmother in Bell, sheriff's officials say

BELL, Calif. (KABC) -- A 24-year-old woman "snapped" and killed her grandmother, who was found strangled and wrapped in plastic in the bathroom of her Bell home, officials said.

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials announced the arrest of Sarah Montoya on Monday. She was booked on one count of murder.

Investigators said Sarah Montoya simply "snapped" and killed her grandmother, Paula Montoya. The cause of death was strangulation.

The 64-year-old's body was found on July 21 at her home on the 6600 block of Pine Avenue after a family member called for a welfare check.

Authorities said she was found in the home's bathroom, wrapped in plastic and a blanket. She was found with broken ribs and a contusion to the head, investigators said.

The last time Paula Montoya was seen alive, she had received a visit from Sarah Montoya and her four children, who range in age from 1 to 9 years old, on July 18, deputies said.

Investigators said they received a tip that Sarah Montoya had fled to Mexico with her kids. They then found her vehicle near the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The Mexican authorities detained Sarah and the four children at the Otay Mesa crossing. After some paperwork, she was actually turned over to U.S. Marshals office with the children," said LASD Lt. Mike Rosson.

The four children are staying with Sarah Montoya's mother.

Investigators said Sarah Montoya was raised by her grandmother and lived with her on-and-off as an adult.

What led Sarah Montoya to "snap" remains under investigation.

Sheriff's officials described Paula Montoya as a doting grandmother to six children, a great-grandmother to four children and an active member in her local church.
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