2004-01-30 / Front Page

Local Ed Activist Murdered

Local Ed Activist Murdered

The Arverne community is still reeling from the vicious murder of an Ar verne woman in Ocean Hill, Brooklyn last Saturday.

Maria Monti, 45 and the mother of six children, was found dead at 8:20 a.m. on Jan uary 24.

Police sources say that Monti was found face down in front of 216 Rock away Avenue. It was not until res pond ing units turned her over that they saw the large wound in her throat.

Police say that they still have neither a motive nor a suspect in the case.

Family members say that Monti, who lives on Almeda Avenue in Ar verne, was last seen at 4 p.m. on Fri day, when she went to meet an un identified friend. She never return ed home.

Local friends and those who worked with Monti at PS 42 are both angered and confused by the apparently sense less murder.

Monti was the parent association president at the elementary school for many years, ironing graduation uniforms, running fundraisers and holiday celebrations, according to a spokes person for the school’s parent association.

"Maria was not just another victim of a cruel murder on New York City streets," Die dra Castillo told The Wave. "Maria meant some thing to our school and to our community. Maria Mon te was a sig nificant individual who touch ed a lot of lives and deserv ed an ar ticle honoring her life instead of a detailing of such a gruesome death."

Friends of the family say that, with the death of their mother following the death of their father only two years ago, the children have no way to pay for a funeral. Monte was reportedly a gift wrapper at For tunoff in Westbury.

Of the six children, four are reportedly still living at home: Marko, 19; David, 17; Devon, 12 and Daneen 11.

Monti’s oldest child, Manuel, is a soldier serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. At press time, authorities were attempting to contact him to bring him back to New York City.

His sister, Danielle, 18 is also in the U.S Army, stationed in Texas. She re turned home immediately upon getting word of the murder.

The family is being taken care of by friends and relatives. Anybody who wants to help defray the cost of the funeral or to help the family in any way may do so by sending a donation to the Monti Family at 51-15 Almeda Avenue, Apartment 3G, Arverne, NY 11692 or to The Monti Family Fund, Care of PS 42 Parents Association, 488 Beach 66 Street, Arverne, New York, 11692.

Meanwhile, the parents and staff of the school remain disconsolate.

"Not one of our school staff that has heard of Maria’s murder has been able to sleep," Castillo said. "Our mourning is profound and our hearts burn with the loss and worry of her surviving children."

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