Homicide investigators continue to piece together the details of two murders in a home on the Barona Indian Reservation in San Diego County nearly two weeks ago.
Elaina Welch, a 32-year-old Barona Native, was taken into custody on suspicion of killing her boyfriend, 32-year-old Julio Ricardo Monggiotti, and her 3-year-old son, Roland, whose body was found by authorities buried under frozen food in a garage freezer.
Welch was later released from jail with no charges filed. “The investigation into the deaths is continuing,” said Steve Walker of the District Attorney’s Office.
According to authorities, Welch allegedly killed her boyfriend, Monggiotti. “It's just a matter of determining what caused that or if there were any circumstances behind that," said Lt. John Maryon, a homicide supervisor with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The county medical examiner is still trying to determine the cause of death of the little boy, and will release its findings in 30 to 90 days.
“I’ve been on the force for 22 years, and unfortunately, this is the first time I have seen something like this,” said Maryon, who choked up when speaking to ICTMN. “Who murders a child, and on top of that, who puts him in a freezer? It’s just terrible.”
According to several local media reports, all the trouble began around noon on January 16, when the sheriff’s department fielded a call from a woman who said that her child was dead. Around that same time, Barona tribal officers responded to a suicide attempt at the same address.
While tribal officers were speaking to Monggiotti outside the house, they reportedly heard Welch yell from inside the home, “He killed my baby!” Monggiotti ran back into the house and moments later, a gunshot rang out. He was later found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest and wrist.
Barona Tribal Enforcement reported that Welch came out of the house with a shotgun, walked away and dropped it in the dirt shortly afterward. Officers could not be reached for comment.
“It is not something we will be commenting on. But we absolutely will be working jointly with the local authorities,” said Sheilla Alvarez, director of government affairs and media spokesperson for the Barona Band of Mission Indians. Alvarez confirmed that Welch is an enrolled tribal member, and her boyfriend, Monggiotti, was not.
Family members report that Welch and Monggiotti had a stormy relationship and that she was pregnant with his baby after dating for three to four months. According to Lisa Hernandez, Welch’s mother, her daughter has been receiving anonymous death threats from people “who don’t know the facts.”
Maryon said, “I heard reference to that and I don’t know what action has been taken, but if that is the case, reports will be generated and we will assist in protecting her.”
Hernandez said that her grandson will be buried on the Barona reservation this week.