Woman in Falls Church killed, set on fire in ‘brutal case’

A woman in Falls Church, Virginia, was found dead Wednesday, and investigators said the victim had been set on fire in what they describe as a “brutal case.”

The woman has been identified as Silvia Vaca Abacay, 40. Friends and family called her Kelly, Fairfax County Police Maj. Ed O’Carroll said in an update Thursday.

Carroll said that when police arrived at the apartment near the intersection of Roosevelt and Wilson boulevards for a report of a domestic dispute, they found her actively on fire with stab wounds. She died at the scene.

The medical examiner will determine the exact cause and manner of death.



Police arrested Richard Montano, 47, of Arlington, on charges of second-degree murder, burglary with intent to commit murder and burning of an occupied dwelling. He is being held without bond at the Fairfax County jail.

O’Carroll said that from Falls Church, Montano fled to an Arlington house. When he left the house, police stopped him at a gas station.

Montano, according to police, knew Vaca Abacay, and they said it was not a stranger attack.

“They’ve had a relationship or acquaintance with several occupants in the (Falls Church) home,” O’Carroll said, adding that police are not looking at any other suspects.

The homicide investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800.

According to O’Carroll, police had been called to the home before for previous reports of domestic disputes.

He said what happened on Wednesday was a very “unfortunate and brutal case.”

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up