ORLANDO, Fla. - The brutal murder of Nicole Montalvo, 33, was already hard enough on her family, but now they fear they won’t get justice because formal murder charges haven’t been filed.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody talked about the Montalvo death investigation while in Orlando on Tuesday. A deadline to file formal charges is coming up in a few months, and she is waiting on Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow her to reassign the case.
"We do have a situation where we have a speedy trial. The clock is ticking and we need to make sure that charges are filed," Moody said.
While Montalvo’s estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, and her father-in-law, Angel Rivera, are in jail, they have not been formally charged with murder.
Nicole’s brother, Steven, released this statement, saying, “Recent events have left us terrified that more attention is now being paid to a 'public spectacle' rather than bringing Nicole’s killers to justice. We are terrified that those responsible for this vicious and disturbing crime will not be held accountable."
Nicole's friend, Tamera Greene, says, "Everyone’s upset. They’re waiting to see something come from it and it's just not happening. It’s taking a long time."
We asked the attorney general is she would file murder charges.
"I have alerted the governor that I believe the ends of justice would be met if he addresses this and the case were reassigned to another circuit."
We reached out to the governor to see if or when he plans to take action and are waiting to hear back from him.
Moody says, "That is something that only the governor has the power to do."
Aramis Ayala, State Attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court that covers Orange and Osceola counties, spoke out last week saying formal charges haven’t been filed because she’s focusing on facts and evidence. She believes the Osceola County Sheriff's Office has yet to provide enough evidence to proceed with murder charges.
"We have historically offered assistance to state attorneys around the state, with investigations, with prosecutions. It was my intention to do the same here," Moody says. "We’re all on the same team and the goal is getting justice for Nicole."
Montalvo's brother also asks that anyone with additional information or evidence in the case please come forward.