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APEX, N.C. – UPDATE: The body of Emily Elizabeth Montgomery was found Saturday in Raleigh, according to the Apex Police Department. Montgomery, 26, of Apex, had been missing since the day before Thanksgiving.

Authorities sent her body to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy.

Original story:

A North Carolina man has been charged in the disappearance of his girlfriend, a young mother who went missing the day before Thanksgiving.

Jose Carlos Jacome-Granizo, 29, of Raleigh, is charged with murder in the death of Emily Elizabeth Montgomery, 26, of Apex. He is being held without bond in the Wake County Jail.

Apex police officials said that officers were called the day after Thanksgiving by Montgomery’s family, who were concerned because they had not heard from her in a couple of days. She was last seen alive between 10 and 11 p.m. Nov. 25 at her home.

“She is considered a missing endangered woman, believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment,” authorities said in a news release.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons on Dec. 1 issued a Silver Alert for Montgomery, who was the mother of a 5-year-old boy.

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“She loved that kid more than anything,” friend Jamie Boyd told WRAL in Raleigh. “That was her whole, entire world. That was her motivating force for everything in life.”

A warrant for Jacome-Granizo’s arrest was issued Dec. 9. U.S. Marshals took him into custody the next morning at his Raleigh apartment.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman declined to tell the news station what evidence led to Jacome-Granizo’s arrest. An arrest warrant obtained by the News & Observer indicates, however, that Jacome-Granizo picked Montgomery up from her home the night she vanished.

On Thanksgiving, Montgomery texted a friend and said she and Jacome-Granizo were not getting along. One message was particularly ominous.

“She was going to kill Jose before he killed her,” the text read, according to the News & Observer.

Later that night, Montgomery texted again: “It is going to happen. He is going to kill me first.”

Montgomery’s mother, Amy Montgomery, told authorities Jacome-Granizo had a history of abusing her daughter, the newspaper reported. Court records show that he has a previous arrest for assault with a deadly weapon with the attempt to kill in Guilford County.

The charge stemmed from a purported assault on a woman.

Amy Montgomery told police she received a text Thanksgiving night from her daughter’s phone. The message said Emily Montgomery was checking into rehab.

Amy Montgomery did not believe the text was written by her daughter, the News & Observer reported.

When questioned by Apex police detectives on Nov. 28, Jacome-Granizo said he took Emily Montgomery to his mother’s Cary home for Thanksgiving dinner, but that Montgomery refused to go inside because she hadn’t done her hair.

He claimed that she was gone when he came outside 30 minutes later, according to the warrant.

Cellphone records indicated that Montgomery’s and Jacome-Granizo’s phones were together after the visit to his mother’s home, authorities said.

“This disproves Jose’s story that he was not with Emily when she left his parents’ home,” the warrant said, according to the News & Observer.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Jacome-Granizo’s Jeep, which was examined with Luminol, a chemical that, when combined with oxidizing agents like blood, emits a glow when exposed to a specific type of light.

The test showed large amounts of blood had been cleaned up from the front seat of the Jeep, the warrant states.

Montgomery’s body has yet to be found.

“I’m devastated and just want to know where my baby is,” Montgomery’s mother, Amy Montgomery, wrote on Facebook.

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Amy Montgomery told CBS 17 that her daughter had a “smile and laugh that lit up the room.”

“If you knew Emily, you would see beauty, strength, light, love, compassion,” the distraught mother said. “She was fierce. She was sassy. She was honest, sometimes to a fault.”

Friend Courtney Pearson told the news station that Emily Montgomery adored her young son.

“She was just so pure and honest, it was hard not to love her,” Pearson said.

Amy Montgomery mourned her loss in a statement following Jacome-Granizo’s arrest.

“In my little world, she was the sun, and (she) is greatly missed,” she said.

Man charged with murder missing mom

Jose Carlos Jacome-Granizo, 29, of Raleigh, N.C., is charged with murder in the purported death of Emily Elizabeth Montgomery, 26, who vanished Nov. 25, 2020, from her Apex home. The body of Montgomery, who has a 5-year-old son, has not been found.