Woman killed in Lake Worth, husband arrested

Posted at 8:18 AM, Aug 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 17:52:55-04

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- A judge denied bond for a man accused of murdering his wife Saturday at their home in Lake Worth.

The crime occurred on the 100 block of South B Street in Lake Worth.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrived to the scene after receiving multiple calls regarding an armed domestic disturbance.

Deputies found the victim, 56-year-old Martha Montoya, in the bedroom. They say she had suffered significant blunt trauma to her head.

"I hear somebody was screaming in the house," said neighbor Jose Aldape, who could hear the couple fighting Saturday morning.

Montoya's daughters (ages 12 and 16) were also located near their residents. PBSO says the girls witnessed part of the altercation that led to their mother's death.

"She was a nice person," said Jose. "She always say hi and bye."

Montoya's husband, Walter Lopez Barrios, was developed as the suspect in her death.

PBSO says Barrios fled the scene in a red 2008 Toyota Tacoma registered to the victim. The vehicle was recovered unoccupied by Florida Highway Patrol at 2:25 am after it had been involved in a single-car accident on I-95 in Boynton Beach.

Deputies arrested Barrios around 8 a.m. Saturday in a neighborhood east of the crash site.

We spoke with a neighbor who was questioned by detectives.

"They came over and knocked on the door and asked me what's my name, date of of birth, if I saw anything," said the neighbor, who didn't want to share his name.

For hours, crime scene investigators collected evidence from the home. The mobile command unit remained on scene.

"It's sad, it's a tragedy but it's what the world is coming to," said Reece O'Malley, who lives a few houses from the couple.

"I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and there was sirens, ambulances, fire trucks, cop cars driving down the street," recalled O'Malley.

The sheriff's office is investigating a motive in this case.

Barrios faces a charge of first degree murder.

His next court appearance is September 19.