It’s been 23 years since a San Ysidro woman was found burned and stabbed to death in the trunk of her car, but homicide detectives are still actively looking for leads that could lead them to the murder suspect.
According to Crime Stoppers and the SDPD, victim Maria Hanbury was brutally beaten and stabbed to death at her home on Lonja Way on March 22, 1990.
Authorities in Mexico later discovered Hanbury’s battered, charred body in the trunk of her burned-out car abandoned in the community of La Presa Abelardo L. Rodriguez in Tijuana.
Detectives believe the man who murdered Hanbury was her employee, Gonzalo Herrera Montanez. He also had a child with Hanbury’s daughter, according to investigators.
Detectives say Montanez sustained cuts during the fatal struggle with the victim. After the murder, he fled to Tijuana where he was treated for his injuries.
He has family in both Tijuana and Michoacan, Mexico, according to investigators, and is wanted for his suspected involvement in the violent 1990 murder.
Detectives describe the suspect as a 44-year-old Hispanic man with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He’s between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-5 and weighs about 165 pounds. He has small stitches and scars on his right hand fingers and a small scar on his left inner thigh, and has also been known to use the alias Gonzalo Aerrera.
On Friday, officials released photos of Montanez that included an image from 1990 and an age-progression photo (see image below). They’re asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.