A 5-year-old girl who went missing in New Mexico over the weekend was found dead three days later, according to a new report.
Renezmae Calzada, of Espanola, was discovered Wednesday in the Rio Grande river near Santa Clara Pueblo, two sources who participated in the search crew told The Rio Grande Sun.
She was last seen playing in the front yard at her stepfather Malcolm Torres’ home Sunday morning while her mom was at work, local outlet KRQE reported. Her mom, Victoria Maestas, called 911 and alerted police that she was missing about nine hours later.
“This was supposed to be a news conference for an update but it’s… a bit of bad news,” Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan told reporters during a Wednesday press conference. “Renezmae has been located, her remains have been located.”
He and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Langenberg didn’t answer any questions about possible suspects or other details.
Torres was arrested Sunday night on warrants related to his DWI cases, and was being questioned by authorities in connection to his stepdaughter’s disappearance, according to the report.
Investigators have not declared the case a homicide — it is being considered a suspicious death pending the results of an autopsy, the outlet reported.
“We will not stop until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae,” Langenberg told reporters.
Calzada attended kindergarten at Fairview Elementary School in Espanola and didn’t show up the week before she disappeared, the Sun reported. A parent who volunteered at the school notified police about her absence, according to the report.
School principal Wilmer Chavarria told the paper Tuesday that Calzada’s teacher had called to speak with her mother on Sept. 5 after the girl had missed more than three days of school. Chevarria declined to detail the conversation, but noted that it was not unusual for students to be absent for multiple days at the start of the year.
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