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Miami man charged with killing, burning co-worker

mleonor@miamiherald.com

Marvin Rivera-Montalvo, 30, is in police custody facing first-degree murder charges.
Marvin Rivera-Montalvo, 30, is in police custody facing first-degree murder charges. Miami-Dade Police Department

A man accussed of killing his co-worker and burning her body in a field just north of Doral was arrested by Miami-Dade police Saturday.

The victim, Yolanda Samaniego, 51, was found Wednesday when Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a report of a brush fire at Northwest 64th Street and 82nd Avenue. When police put out the flames, they found a charred and decomposing body, later identified as Samaniego.

The mother of a teenage son, Samaniego had been reported missing by family members Sept. 12.

Marvin Rivera-Montalvo, 30, was arrested on first-degree murder charges after confessing to police that he was involved in the murder and disappearance of his co-worker. Both were employees at Solo Printing, located about three blocks from the field where Samaniego was found.

She died from blunt force trauma to the head, medical examiners concluded.

Rivera-Montalvo told police that he was approached by other individuals to assist in her killing. He said he lured Samaniego into his vehicle the morning of Sept. 13, and then one of his accomplices shot her. He and the unnamed male accomplice dumped her corpse in the field where she was found that night. He returned to the field Wednesday and lit her corpse on fire, the arrest report shows.

He also told police he had used Samaniego’s phone to text family members after her death.

According to police, Rivera-Montalvo had initially called 911 on Sept. 18, claiming Samaniego had been murdered by her husband. Police have not made any other arrests in the case and are not looking for other suspects.

Manuel Zelaya, Samaniego’s nephew, said his aunt was a “hard-working mother” who had immigrated from Nicaragua more than three decades ago.

“She was a very popular person, with more virtues than flaws,” said Zelaya. “She was a very good mother, who always provided for her son.”

Zelaya said they first worried about Samaniego when she stopped calling her son.

“She was always calling him, and when she stopped picking up, that’s when we started to worry,” he said. “He would call her, and her phone would be off.”

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