Woman stalked by former McDonald’s co-worker is murdered along with roommate

LEMING, TX – In what has been described as a premeditated act of lethal obsession, a Texas man has received a life sentence for the murders of a woman he fixated on and her roommate. Judge Russell H. Wilson of the Atascosa County District Court ruled on Monday that 28-year-old Rosendo Jesus Montoya will be imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole for the killings of Mary Heinz, 33, and Laura West, 43.

The tragedy unfolded on the morning of June 29, 2023, when local authorities responded to an emergency call reporting a house fire on Peach Street in Leming. At the site, first responders discovered the body of one adult female. Laura West, whose gunshot-inflicted fatality was clear, was the homeowner and Mary Heinz’s roommate. Heinz was missing from the scene, launching an immediate investigation into her whereabouts.

After a week of investigation involving several interviews and extensive evidence collection, Montoya emerged as the prime suspect. Previously a colleague of Heinz’s at McDonald’s, Montoya’s infatuation with her after a brief dating period apparently led him to become obsessed with her.

Montoya was apprehended after disposing of evidence tied to the crime. Officials retrieved black plastic bags containing human remains from a dumpster that Montoya had visited after his shift at the restaurant. He later directed law enforcement to a secluded site where he had discarded Heinz’s body, also a victim of a gunshot.

Audrey Louis, the District Attorney, characterized the murder as every single woman’s nightmare scenario, highlighting the extent of Montoya’s obsession and planning. Louis emphasized that while the plea spares the community and the victims’ families the agony of a trial, it cannot repair the irreparable damage inflicted by the crimes.

The revelation of Montoya’s calculated actions has led Sheriff David Soward to label him as a potential serial killer, thwarted in his nascent stage. At the sentencing, Mary Heinz’s mother directed her grief and anger towards Montoya, branding him as “an evil, little weasel,” and lamenting the pain he brought upon both the victims’ families and his own.