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California Woman Seen Pushing Body Parts in Trash Can

ONTARIO, Calif. -- A woman is under investigation for murder after witnesses reported to police that she was pushing a foul-smelling trash can down the street, which led to the discovery of a man's body parts in the barrel and what appeared to be bodily fluids at a nearby house, authorities said.

Carmen Montenegro, 51, of San Bernardino, was arrested Sunday after police found the garbage can filled with the remains, Ontario police Detective Jeff Crittenden said Tuesday.

Authorities have not yet identified the man, how he died, when he died, where he died or the relationship between him and Montenegro. Investigators were withholding information about which body parts were in the trash can, a 30-gallon plastic container, and which ones are missing, Crittenden said.

Montenegro, who listed her occupation as a clerk on police documents, has apparently lived on and off over the years in the house, which is owned by a family member, he said.

Investigators spent Monday excavating property around the place. A hole was found in the backyard and what may have been body fluids were detected, but Crittenden would not say if a grave or additional body parts were found.

The house is about 200 yards from where Montenegro was pushing the can. Ontario is in San Bernardino County about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.

Neighbors started calling around 3 p.m. Sunday.

Crittenden said he had heard reports that Montenegro asked some neighbors for help disposing of the body, but the only statements he had seen from witnesses who called 911 were from people who had been alerted by the smell.

He said no other suspect was being sought but added: "We can't eliminate other people. We have to figure out the identity of the victim and figure out what kind of relationship the suspect had to the victim."

Police don't think there are other victims, the detective said. "It looks like an isolated incident, but we are still looking," Crittenden said.

The San Bernardino County coroner's office said the man's name would be released after he was identified and his family was notified.

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