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Man charged with murder of woman stabbed, set on fire in Seven Corners

Major Crimes Bureau Commander Ed O’Carroll announces charges in a homicide in Seven Corners (via FCPD/Facebook)

A man from Arlington has been charged with second-degree murder after police found a woman who had been set on fire and stabbed multiple times in Seven Corners on Wednesday (Aug. 10).

Richard Montano, 47, was arrested at his home in Arlington around 6:30 p.m. after allegedly fleeing the scene of the homicide in the 2900 block of Willston Place, where police say he assaulted Silvia Vaca Abacay, 40, of Falls Church and set her on fire.

Officers responded to The Villages at Falls Church at 3:05 p.m. after a neighbor reported a man and woman having an argument in an adjacent condominium, the Fairfax County Police Department said yesterday (Thursday).

There, they found Vaca Abacay “on fire and suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper body,” according to the report announcing the charges against Montano.

“First responders extinguished the fire and attempted to provide life-saving measures. Sadly, she was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the FCPD said.

According to police, a witness reported seeing a man flee the scene, prompting a shelter-in-place order for residents while officers searched the area.

The FCPD says Montano was identified as a person of interest based on “an investigative analysis” of the condo by detectives with help from professional support staff. They also located surveillance footage that showed Montano entering the home prior to the murder, according to police.

The Arlington Police Department provided assistance in locating and arresting Montano, who is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

In addition to murder, Montano has been charged with burglary with intent to commit murder and burning of an occupied dwelling.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is in the process of conducting an autopsy to determine the exact cause and manner of death,” police said.

The FCPD has investigated 14 homicides so far this year, slighly under the 15 homicides recorded by this point in 2021.

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