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Lakewood family desperate for answers after loved one goes missing

James "Jay" Montoya was last seen during the early morning hours of April 2
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Posted at 9:43 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-08 00:16:12-04

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — It's been nearly a week since James "Jay" Montoya, 26, walked out of a Lakewood bar, and he hasn't been heard from since.

Before then, it wasn't unusual for his mother, Corinna Montoya, to hear from her son multiple times a day, every day.

"Very, very unlikely for him to have just been gone this many days. Totally, totally uncharacteristic of him," she said.

Corrina and James Montoya

The calls have stopped. None of James' friends or family have talked to him since Sunday. That's the same day his girlfriend contacted the family with troubling news.

"James never came home," Corinna recalls.

He left his truck at his girlfriend's Lakewood apartment before heading out to the Hangar Bar the night of Saturday, April 1.

"He did leave the Hangar Bar on Jewell and Wadsworth when it closed, so about 2:00 in the morning," explained Corinna, "He was last seen, or his last Snapchat was [sent from] near the area of Federal and Alameda."


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Denver police searching for missing man last seen at bar at Jewell, Wadsworth

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6:13 AM, Apr 05, 2023

The family said he left with someone they don't recognize.

"A Hispanic male, black shirt, black pants, red Red Sox cap. Somebody he had apparently just met that night," said Corinna.

With no transportation, an unresponsive cell phone and no activity on his credit cards, James' parents are trying to hold onto hope.

"It's heart wrenching. It's a pain that we've never had experienced before. It's hard not to let your mind go somewhere that it doesn't need to go," she said.

Montoya's parents said there was nothing they know of that would cause James to walk away from the life he built.

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"He was registered and ready in a month and a half to go to the Marines. That was his dream," said Eddie Montoya, James' father. "He was on top of the world with his goals. We were proud of him, everyone was proud of him."

The Denver Police Department, which is leading the investigation, told Denver7 investigators are still trying to gather more information.

"If you've seen my son, if you had information that you feel has any resemblance of anything that you feel, don't feel like it's too small, too little, because that could be what breaks the case," said Corinna.

If you have any information, please call DPD at 720-913-2000.

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