Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Frank Montenegro

Real Name: Frank Montenegro
Aliases: Mr. Monty
Wanted For: Child Molestation
Missing Since: July 19, 2001


Details: Frank Montenegro was a twenty-four-year-old elementary school teacher in San Diego. In spring 1988, his mother died during childbirth, and a few weeks later, his father died in a car accident. As a result, he decided to give up his carefree lifestyle and move from San Diego to Hayward to take care of his five younger siblings. He assumed custody of them, took care of their financial needs, and saw his baby sister, Nicole, who had Down Syndrome, through numerous hospitalizations and open-heart surgery. He made sure there was always food in the house and that they all went to church on Sunday. Soon, his heroic story made the news and was in "People's Choice" magazine.
In summer 2001, Montenegro's reputation began to fall apart when Patricia Jackson went to the police. A few days earlier, she had found new white underwear in her son's drawer. She asked where he got them and he said his teacher, Montenegro, or "Mr. Monty", gave them to him. Later, while they were watching a program about sexual abuse, he told her that Montenegro had raped him while he was at school.
Hayward Police Detective Teresa Martinez questioned the boy and later had him meet with a sexual abuse counselor. During the interview, he claimed that all of the students had seen the assault. Martinez knew that this was not true. However, when she reinterviewed him, he said he lied because he was scared the first time. He insisted that he had been assaulted. Martinez still believed that Montenegro had sexually assaulted him. She investigated his classroom and found a two-way mirror separating two rooms in it. One contained video equipment.
When Martinez returned the next day, she found that the mirror had been replaced by a regular pane of glass. She secured a search warrant for the Montenegro home, where investigators found presents for children and books about having sex with children. She learned from a relative that Montenegro had apparently been found with another boy naked in his classroom. She brought him in for questioning, which took three hours and lasted late into the night. He claimed that he did not molest the boy. He agreed to return the next morning for a polygraph test but he never showed up.
Since it was still the word of a child against the word of a respected teacher, Martinez knew she had to corroborate the first boy's story and find the second one. She began searching for related Social Services reports and found that another police department was investigating the report of sexual abuse at Montenegro's home. She questioned the second boy, who confirmed that he had been sexually abused. Then, another shock: Montenegro's brother claimed that he had been sexually abused as well.
On July 19, Montenegro rented a red Toyota Corolla which was found abandoned on July 26, 2001, in La Paz, Baja California. Despite this, authorities do not believe he is in Mexico; instead, he may be in San Diego where he has friends or Kansas where he has relatives.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the June 14, 2002 episode.

Montenegro after his arrest

Results: Captured. An anonymous tip lead FBI agents, the LAPD, and California Department of Corrections' parole division to a community home in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles where Montenegro had been living. On August 12, 2015, they arrested him after chasing him on foot and engaging in a brief struggle. He was extradited to Alameda County to face molestation charges. At his trial, both of his victims testified. Disturbingly, he was accused of masturbating during the trial while they testified. In March 2017, he was convicted of thirteen felony counts, including child molestation, and sentenced to 195 years to life in prison.