21-year-old Richard Allen Montgomery was tied to a tree before being sexually assaulted and murdered by suspected serial killer Daniel Conahan. Secrets of the Morgue on Investigation Discovery examines the case.
In 1994, Conahan, who lived and worked in Punta Gorda, Florida, as a licensed practical nurse, was arrested following accusations that he drove Stanley Burden, 26, of Fort Myers, to a secluded area and tied him to a tree before sexually assaulting him and attempting to strangle him to death.
Burden was able to escape.
Those charges were dropped, but two years later, on July 3, 1996, Conahan was arrested again. This time, it was for the murder and sexual assault of Montgomery.
On April 16, 1996, Montgomery told family and friends he was going to meet up with Conahan, who he had just met, to pose for nude photos in exchange for $200.
That was the last time anyone saw him alive.
The following day, two storm utility engineers for Charlotte County discovered a human skull in a wooded area off of Highway 41 and notified police.
When officers arrived at the scene and scoured the area, they found a nude body that was later identified as Montgomery.
He had “trauma to the neck, waist, and wrists, and the genitalia had been removed.” An autopsy revealed that Montgomery died from strangulation.
While police combed the area for evidence, they stumbled upon a rope and carpet padding that was wrapped around the victim’s body.
When investigators noticed the similarities in Burden and Montgomery’s cases, they conducted an undercover investigation.
Deputy Scott Clemens reportedly went to Kiwanis Park on May 24, 1996, and was approached by Conahan, who offered to pay him $7 to show his penis or $20 for fellatio.
Clemens refused his offer and left.
Police obtained a warrant to search Conahan’s home after he offered Clemens $150 to pose for nude photos the next day.
Inside his father’s Mercury Capri, police discovered paint that matched the paint chip found on Montgomery’s body.
Conahan was arrested and later found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and kidnapping.
On December 10, 1999, Conahan received the death penalty.
Police suspect Conahan may have more victims as the bodies of five men were found in the 90s, located in desolate areas of central Florida, which were dubbed the Hog Trail Killings.
Those cases remain unsolved.
Secrets of the Morgue — John Doe No.5, airs at 10pm on Investigation Discovery.