Mom had asked authorities to check on 2-, 5-year-olds
Scott A. Montgomery’s marriage was disintegrating amid domestic-violence allegations, and he was facing foreclosure on the home outside Manitou Springs he had bought less than a year before, according to court and bank records.
On Sunday, authorities say, Montgomery, 37, killed his two young children at the home, then was shot by two El Paso County sheriff’s deputies.
An autopsy Monday, though, revealed no signs of injuries to the children. Authorities are awaiting toxicology results that would show the presence of poison or chemicals in the children. Toxicology tests can take several days.
El Paso County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home at 6240 Waterfall Loop by Montgomery’s estranged wife, who told 911 dispatchers he had made threatening statements on the phone. Deputies saw through a window 5-year-old Skyler and 21-month-old Canyon lying on a bed, not breathing, with blood splattered across the room.
Deputies entered the home and shot Montgomery to death when he accosted them with a knife, according to Lt. Lari Sevene of the Sheriff ‘s Office. The blood deputies thought was the children’s was Montgomery’s, the result of self-inflicted knife wounds, she said.
Skyler would have been in the first grade at Manitou Springs Elementary School this fall.
“He had the most incredible vocabulary that I ever knew,” said the school nurse and a neighbor of the Montgomerys who asked not to be identified. “He was very loquacious. He just talked all the time.”
Though Skyler had come to her office during his year at kindergarten, she said she never worried about his physical safety at home.
In the upscale gated community of Crystal Park, the deaths of two young children, at the apparent hands of their father, had many grieving Monday.
“We are just so shocked,” said neighbor Virginia Ownbey.
“It’s a hard time. It’s a quiet neighborhood. We very seldom have trouble or need for the police to come up here,” said a close neighbor who would not give his name because he had given a statement to investigators.
Court documents paint a picture of a troubled marriage and a dream of mountain living gone awry.
Scott and Carrie Montgomery, 28, married for nine years, wanted to live in the mountains, according to Ownbey. Scott Montgomery bought the house on Waterfall Loop for $159,300 in July 2007, financing the entire amount, according to El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Offce records.
By November, Carrie Montgomery, 28, was moving out. According to court documents, on Nov. 9, she was retrieving some things from the home when Scott Montgomery came home early from work, disabled her van by pulling a cable under the hood and twisted her arm behind her back during a struggle. Manitou Springs police arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence, which was later dismissed.
Police became involved again in May when Scott Montgomery went to Carrie Montgomery’s apartment in Manitou Springs to pick up the children. He tried to close the hatch of the van on her, and put his hands on her throat and pushed her, according to a Manitou Springs police affidavit. He was set for trial next month on a domestic violence charge.
At the time of the second arrest, he no longer worked at Hewlett-Packard, where he had been for seven years, and was a self-employed solar power installer, according to his booking report at the El Paso County jail.
The two were not divorced.
U.S. Bank filed for foreclosure in April. According to El Paso County Public Trustee documents, he owed $158,746 on the $159,300 loan. The house is set to be sold at auction in August.
Neighbors Monday were struggling to come to grips with the tragedy and some had placed stuffed animals at the house in a memorial for the children. Residents reached by phone said they were unaware there were any problems at the home.
“Nothing like this has ever happened here,” Ownbey said. “Most people are very trusting and they’ll leave their keys in their car.”
Two deputies are on paid administrative leave while the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office investigates the shooting, standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting.
An autopsy on Scott Montgomery is scheduled for today.