The granddaughter of a 64-year-old woman who was found dead inside her home in the city of Bell last month has been named a "person of interest" in the investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday.
Sarah Montoya may have gone to Mexico with her four children, sheriff's officials said at a news conference. She is wanted in connection with the death of her grandmother, Paula Montoya, but has not been identified as a suspect in the case.
"We believe that Paula's granddaughter, Sarah Montoya, who's 24 years of age, and her four children, ranging in age from 1 to 9, were the last one's to see Paula alive," sheriff's Lt. Mike Rosson said Tuesday.
Montoya's vehicle was impounded by the California-Mexico border, and detectives believed she and her children -- three boys and a girl -- likely crossed the same day her grandmother's body was found.
Paula Montoya was wrapped up in a blanket when she was discovered deceased inside her home in the 6600 block of Pine Avenue on July 21, according to the Sheriff's Department.
"She was wrapped in a blanket and people don't do that to themselves, so we don't know if it's somebody known to her, we don't know if it's random -- a home invasion," Rosson said last month.
The woman's door was locked when authorities arrived, and her home had not been ransacked. Montoya was last been seen alive two days earlier; authorities had initially responded to her residence to perform a welfare check.
Investigators had not disclosed what type of injuries, if any, were suffered by the victim. A cause of death was not immediately released.
"Her body was discovered in a way that was suspicious in nature," Rosson said at the news conference. "I can't describe specifics on the case at this point in time."
Sarah Montoya and her children haven't been seen since her grandmother's death, according to a sheriff's news release.
She is described as 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighing approximately 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Montoya's children have been identified as Joshua, Yosu, Elijah and Abagail Rodriguez.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can also be left by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.