A distraught mother has begged locals to stop tearing down a memorial to her daughter, who was under investigation for ‘sexual grooming’ before dying in a car crash along with three teenagers.
Alicia Montebello, 31, was killed when her red Toyota Corolla hatchback spun out of control and crashed into a tree near Bochara in southwest Victoria on May 27.
The bodies of local Hamilton teenagers Meghan Fox, 14, Joshua Elmes, 15, and Lucas Gorzali, 14, were also found in the wreckage.
After the tragedy, the mother of Coles’ cashier, Debbie Montebello, erected a simple memorial to her daughter at the crash site.
But the heartfelt tribute that reads, “In loving memory of Alicia Jade Montebello forever loved. You will always be missed. RIP’, has since been aborted.
“PLEASE STOP STOP,” she wrote on a Hamilton resident’s Facebook group.
Alicia Montebello was charged with stalking and causing damage to the teen’s car in February and was released on bail on the condition that she did not contact two teenage girls
Mother’s Facebook post urging residents of the Hamilton area to stop tearing down a memorial to Alicia Montebello who died in a car crash on Saturday
“I beg the people of Hamilton to stop vandalizing our daughter and sister’s memorial. It kills us.
“We know you’re all mad at Alicia. But please stop. We mourn and hurt too.’
“…We’ve all lost someone we love.”
Debbie said her youngest son, Jaryd, lives in Hamilton and ‘goes out every day to talk to his sister’, but when he noticed the plaque had been taken down he became ‘angry and devastated’.
The grieving mother’s plea for “peace” was met with general approval and sympathy.
“I hope people respect this memorial, they are not doing this to her, they are doing this to you and your family who have suffered more than enough already,” one person replied.
Another said, “No matter how they feel about everything, you all deserve peace.”
‘It doesn’t matter who did what. Young lives have been lost and people should be allowed to mourn in peace,” a third added.
“If the mother and brother want to erect a memorial to their sister and daughter and the others, let them do it. Please wake up and stop destroying it.”
Alicia had pledged her love to a young teenage girl and posted several pictures of her kissing the youngster
Parents told police they feared their teenage daughter – who is not being identified by Daily Mail Australia – was being groomed for sex by Alicia Montebello (pictured)
Another girl, 17-year-old Jorja, who was also involved in the crash along with her sister Meghan, survived the horror ordeal and remains hospitalized in serious condition after suffering critical upper body injuries.
A haunting final photo of Jorja, taken several days earlier, shows her in the passenger seat of the Corolla without a seatbelt as it apparently speeds down the road.
The photo, which appeared as the final image in Ms. Montebello’s latest TikTok video posted on May 14, appears to have been taken by the driver while driving.
Police believe no one in the car was wearing a seat belt at the time of the horror crash, and parents had previously warned about Ms Montebello’s unsafe driving practices.
The Adelaide-born woman had been banned from driving twice after being caught driving drunk in an unregistered car and driving while disqualified.
Parents also told police they feared their teenage daughter – who is not being identified by Daily Mail Australia – was being groomed for sex by Ms Montebello.
Daily Mail Australia revealed a series of online messages from the adult to the teen, almost half her age, telling her, “I love you… I love you little one.”
In another message, she added, “My dear friend – I love you little one.”
In another message to the teen after she posted a photo of herself in a party dress, Ms. Montebello added, “Wow you in the blue dress gawjus.”
Ms Montebello was charged with stalking and causing damage to a teenager’s car in February and was released on bail on the condition that she failed to contact two teenage girls.
But she had bombarded the teen – who had been dating one of the teenage boys killed in the crash – with about 30 text messages in late March before she showed up for work.
A haunting final photo of Jorja Fox (above), taken just days before the crash, shows her in the passenger seat of the Corolla without a seatbelt as it apparently speeds down the road
The mutilated wreckage of the Toyota Corolla that killed four people, while another was taken to hospital in serious condition
On March 31, she posted a video to TikTok telling the teens, “I miss you guys – best friends forever and ever. I love you. My world.’
In a second video the same day, she posted more photos and added, “I promise I’ll always be there for you one way or another.”
‘I’ll make sure it works. I love you xx’
She was arrested and charged with breaching her bail conditions when she was caught with the two teens in the early hours of April in Hamilton.
Alicia was fined $700 without conviction for willful damage, two counts of stalking and four counts of breaching bail, the Warrnambool Standard reported.
Police have yet to reveal who was behind the wheel of the car at the time of the crash, and detectives hope Jorja Fox can help with investigations when she is well enough.