Casper Man Possibly Involved in Gillette Double Murder
A Gillette man accused of killing two people and cutting up their bodies in his girlfriend's bathtub, may not have killed them after all.
Michael Paul Montano, 37, of Gillette, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the killings of 33-year-old Phillip Brewer and 38-year-old Jody Fortuna. He also faces two counts of mutilation of dead human bodies.
But as it turns out, a man who allegedly made counterfeit bills at a house in Casper may have been the one who killed them, according to court documents.
Brewer was reported missing Sept. 24, while Fortuna was reported missing Oct. 3.
Their bodies were found in pieces in plastic tote containers and a car-top carrier Oct. 8. A forensic pathologist told investigators on Oct. 10 that bullet holes were found in parts of the dismembered bodies.
Court documents say Montano told an investigator that he cut the bodies up. But there is no mention of Montano discussing the killings, nor do they present a motive.
Montano's girlfriend, 22-year-old Kylee Collins, is accused of helping Montano hide the bodies. She is being held on $100,000 cash bond, while Montano's bond sits at $2.5 million cash.
And now, court documents say a Casper man, previously convicted of drug crimes, may have been the one who killed Brewer and Fortuna, instead of Montano.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department on Nov. 30 applied for a warrant to search a house in the 900 block of North Lincoln Street in an effort to recover any evidence that may be connected to the murders or the manufacture of counterfeit money.
The affidavit attached to the search warrant says in the middle of November, a confidential source told police that the Casper suspect made counterfeit bills at the house on North Lincoln, and he taught other people how to as well.
The man allegedly continued to make phony bills after being arrested for being in possession of counterfeit money.
The source also told police, according to the affidavit, that Montano was not the person who killed Brewer and Fortuna. The source allegedly said the Casper suspect had a "big part" in the killings.
The suspect allegedly suggested on more than one occasion that he "was the one responsible for the homicide," according to the affidavit.
Brewer went missing in September, according to the source, and Brewer's mother posted an unknown message about her son on the Casper suspect's Facebook page.
The source added that the Casper suspect and another man had been in possession of a BMW that belonged to Brewer. When Brewer was found dead, The suspect said, "You want me to get caught? We need to get the BMW off the street," according to the source's statement included in the affidavit.
The BMW had broken down and was parked somewhere in Casper, according to the affidavit.
When the bodies were found, the suspect had a phone conversation with a woman and said, "Oh, they found him? Did they find the other one too?" according to the affidavit.
The source also allegedly told police that numerous documents belonging to Brewer were inside the house on North Lincoln. Those documents disappeared, the source said, but it was unknown whether anything else belonging to Brewer were still there.
A Casper detective was told that an unknown Hispanic man had been present during the killings. Authorities wanted to examine the information further since "enough" of it seemed to align with known facts, the affidavit says.
Court documents say this man is still a suspect in the counterfeiting investigation which was started by Casper police but then taken over by the Secret Service.
In fact, the suspect was allegedly found in a residence where counterfeit money was recovered back in August.
Back in January, an unnamed source told Casper detectives that they bought methamphetamine from a man who owned a shop in Bar Nunn and also had a house on North Lincoln in Casper. Through the source's description, detectives were able to verify the house as the same house where the suspect allegedly made counterfeit money, in the 900 block of North Lincoln.
Police searched the house and seized a broken meth pipe, a baggie with suspected methamphetamine residue, two memory cards, four cell phones and a black scale, according to an evidence report.
Court documents say a source told police that the suspect and another person who stayed at the house bought a used car from a place in Casper and drove to California, where he allegedly bought an unknown amount of methamphetamine.
The suspect on Feb. 3 pleaded guilty in Natrona County Circuit Court to one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of interference.
The affidavit in that case says he was found with four small baggies of methamphetamine in his pants after a traffic stop.
The suspect is currently wanted for failing to comply with the terms of his supervised probation stemming from that case.
He also pleaded guilty to use of a controlled substance on July 30, 2014.
Casper Police say the investigation into the counterfeit money and the Gillette murders continues.