The mayor has asked the state to review the Police Department's investigation of a landlady accused of killing her elderly tenants and burying seven bodies in the yard of her Victorian boardinghouse.
After finding the first body and interviewing Dorothea Montalvo Puente, 59, police released her, citing a lack of evidence. She was arrested five days later in Los Angeles following a search in California, Nevada and Mexico. Officers then flew her back to Sacramento aboard a plane chartered by a TV station, which interviewed her en route."I want to see if any of our policies or procedures need to be tightened up," Mayor Anne Rudin said Tuesday. "There are obviously some gaps, especially the two major gaps."
Police Chief John Kearns agreed to the review by the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
"I think it's a positive step, not a negative one. . . . We are a public agency open to scrutiny," he said.
Meanwhile, Sacramento County Coroner Charles Simmons said one of the seven bodies was that of a woman, 50 to 60 years old, and was the only one found on the grounds of the boardinghouse that sustained "obvious physical trauma."
"It was missing the feet and hands and head," Simmons said. "We don't know if the mutilation occurred before or after death."
Puente, who ran the two-story home, has been charged with one count of murder in the death of Alvaro "Bert" Montoya, a mentally handicapped transient and former tenant missing for months from Puente's home.