LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas father who was briefly a murder suspect feels he has been victimized by the ordeal.
Metro police were looking for 37-year-old Jose Montes-Herrera on Saturday, believing he had killed his son and left the body off State Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump. The body of an unidentified boy had been discovered the previous morning.
Montes was cleared a few hours later when he and his two sons, one of whom was mistakenly identified as the dead child, were found alive on a camping trip in Utah.
Montes said he had poor cell service at the campsite, but when he started receiving notifications, he was alarmed because family members were texting that he should turn himself in to police.
“I was in disbelief. I couldn’t believe someone accused me of this,” Montes said from his lawyer’s office, where he was accompanied by his 11-year-old son, Eden Montes.
Montes said he tried to sort the matter out, but when he arrived at a nearby town, police were waiting with guns drawn.
“I was ambushed by all types of law enforcement,” he said. “I was stripped down, naked.”
The case of mistaken identity occurred when the mother of his child saw a composite sketch of the unidentified boy and believed it to be her 8-year-old son, Daniel Cisneros. Apparently, her son and his 11-year-old half-brother, Eden, had left with Montes on Thursday night and the mother was unable to contact them and feared the worst.
Serious concerns over the safety of Eden led police to release the names and photos of him and his father during a news conference Saturday.
Montes said he is trying to understand how this case of mistaken identity went so far and feels his name needs to be cleared.
“I feel Metro detectives could have done their job a little better,” he said.
He said he is most upset with the mothers of his two boys. “They know I’d never harm my kids,” he said.
Police are continuing to search for leads to identify the boy found along State Route 160.