Arlington Man Charged in Willston Place Homicide

Mason Police District – Yesterday at 3:05 p.m., officers responded to an apartment in the 2900 block of Willston Place in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County for the report of a domestic dispute. A neighbor called police after hearing a man and woman arguing in an adjacent apartment. Officers observed smoke emanating from the apartment when they arrived. Inside the apartment, they found Silvia Vaca Abacay, 40, of Falls Church, on fire and suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper body. First responders extinguished the fire and attempted to provide life-saving measures. Sadly, she was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is in the process of conducting an autopsy to determine the exact cause and manner of death.  

Detectives with the assistance of professional support staff conducted an investigative analysis of the apartment and identified a person of interest, Richard Montano, 47, of Arlington. Surveillance footage of Montano entering the home prior to the murder was found and distributed to officers and the community. 

Preliminarily, detectives believe Montano forced entry into the apartment, assaulted Ms. Abacay, and set her on fire. He fled the apartment and eventually returned to his residence in Arlington. Detectives from our Special Investigation Unit and Fugitive Track and Apprehension Squad, along with the Arlington County Police Department, located Montano near his home and arrested him without incident. He was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and charged with second degree murder, burglary with intent to commit murder, and burning of an occupied dwelling. He was held on no bond. 


Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call detectives at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App and follow the prompts to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.  

Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the victim’s family is receiving appropriate resources and assistance.   

This is the 14th homicide of the year in Fairfax County. Year to date, there were 15 homicides at this point in 2021. 

Watch here as Major O’Carroll provided an update to the community this afternoon.

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