Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Bloodstained carpet and other evidence have police speculating that a Reno pharmacist accused of abandoning his 3-year-old stepson in Utah may have killed his missing wife, court documents show.
Lyle Montgomery, 42, is expected to remain through next week at a psychiatric hospital where he was sent after an apparent suicide attempt, his lawyer said Friday.
Montgomery is a "possible suspect" in the disappearance of his wife, Jeanette Acord, 28, but so far has been charged only with a misdemeanor in the alleged abandonment of the boy at a ShopKo in Salt Lake City last weekend, Reno Police Chief Jerry Hoover said.
The state pharmacy board suspended his license on Friday.
Local law enforcement and federal agents in several western states continued the search for Acord, who is the boy's mother and also goes by Jeanette Corpuz, Snyder and Montgomery.
But in an affidavit filed in Reno Justice Court, Reno Police Detective Ron Chalmers Jr. said evidence was mounting "that there is a possibility that Jeanette ... may have been injured, killed, restrained or otherwise harmed while at or in the residence."
Montgomery's attorney, Marc Picker, disputed that conclusion.
"They are treating the case like a homicide when they really have no evidence to support that," he said on Friday.
Investigators who searched the home found the stained carpet and carpet pad removed from the master bedroom and rolled up outside.
"Examination of the carpet revealed two substantial sized red stains which ... tested positive for blood," Chalmers wrote in an affidavit for a search warrant.
"Two corresponding saturated red stains were observed in the carpet pad. A smaller stain was observed on the wooden sub-floor of the master bedroom," he wrote.
The bed was missing from the room along with a dresser and other articles of furniture.
Montgomery, 42, was found semiconscious in the home when police arrived Wednesday night to check the welfare of Acord, who had not been heard from since Jan. 21.
Montgomery is charged in Salt Lake City with child abuse after leaving Jonathan Jacob Corpuz sitting in a shopping cart at a ShopKo store. He was identified from nationally televised surveillance tape.
The boy told police that Montgomery fired a gunshot at Acord, but missed and hit the dresser, the affidavit said.
Police were not commenting Friday on results of their search of a storage unit rented by Montgomery. On Thursday, Lt. Ron Holladay told KRNV-TV, "We did find some things in the storage unit that would raise some eyebrows for us."
The affidavit said that when police arrived on Wednesday, Montgomery was found lying on the floor of a bedroom with a loaded gun 20 feet away and several rounds of ammunition in a nearby plastic bag.
When the officers asked Montgomery where his wife was, he replied, "She left."
Montgomery, a pharmacy manager at a Super Kmart in Reno, was handcuffed and taken to police headquarters for questioning before being taken to Washoe Medical Center. On Thursday, an emergency room technician committed him to the psychiatric hospital.
Montgomery had taken a prescription medication and alcohol before police found him, Picker said.
He initially said his client had not attempted suicide. But on Friday, after Montgomery was ordered held at West Hills Hospital, Picker said, "The doctor appears to have a different opinion than me."
Until Friday's license suspension, Montgomery had no complaints filed with the pharmacy board, according to Louis Ling, the board's lawyer.
Picker was representing Montgomery in an earlier charge growing out of an October incident in which Acord said he pulled a gun on her and threatened to kill her with her son in the room.
Montgomery had been scheduled to appear in Reno Justice Court Thursday for a preliminary hearing on that charge, but that was continued until March 7, Picker said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)