The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office was given a plaque of appreciation after an October 2017 traffic stop helped the Phoenix Police Department to locate a murder suspect.

In a letter of appreciation for outstanding professionalism and apprehension of a homicide fugitive, it states, “On Oct. 24, 2017, Abbigail Rinaldi was discovered murdered in her Phoenix home. Investigative efforts identified the suspect as Christopher Montoya.”

Rinaldi was a 32-year-old female, who had failed to show up to work for over a week and had not been seen. A coworker had contacted the Phoenix Police, concerned about Rinaldi.

“Text messages were sent from the victim’s phone stating where she was; however, these statements were disproved. The co-worker responded to the victim’s home with friends and found signs of forced entry,” the statement described.

Upon arrival, Phoenix Police located the human remains of Rinaldi and signs of foul play.

As the Phoenix Police Department was trying to find Montoya, it was revealed that Mineral County deputies already had him in custody.

Undersheriff Bill Ferguson would tell the Independent-News in November of 2017 that Montoya was apprehended after deputies attempted to stop a newer gray model Toyota truck for speeding. Once deputies activated their emergency lights, Montoya began to yield then quickly accelerated away from the deputies.

The high speed pursuit would reach speed of 100 miles per hour before Montoya entered the desert area west of Armory Road. Deputies would locate the Toyota, blacked out in the desert. They found Montoya hiding outside of the vehicle. He was taken into custody.

After Phoenix located Montoya in the custody of Mineral County, communications between the two departments began to preserve crucial evidence for the homicide investigation of Rinaldi.

After Montoya’s arrest in Mineral County, Phoenix detectives flew into Hawthorne to interview him.

Montoya is now in the custody of the Phoenix Police Department.