Police are investigating the death of a 6-year-old New Mexico girl who may have been sexually assaulted before her body was found in her home last week.
A report obtained by the Albuquerque Journal said officers responded to a cluttered Rio Rancho home Saturday to find Ariana Romero “not breathing” and lying on a bloody towel in a bedroom. Marijuana and medications were found near her body, according to KOAT.
A search warrant filed in Sandoval County District Court Monday said she was found without underwear or pants. While authorities haven’t revealed how the 6-year-old died or whether she was sexually assaulted, the warrant stated she had “damage” to her genitals.
Neighbors told KOAT that people in the home had a “history” that didn’t involve Romero. Records indicated that Rio Rancho police investigated the same home in 2011 following reports of the sexual penetration of a 5-year-old girl.
Police said the girl’s mother was home when officers arrived but they wouldn’t confirm to KQRE that she was there when the child died.
Friends and family went on to tell the news station that the mother is troubled and had issues in other states before moving to New Mexico. However, New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) said they’ve never had any contact with the mother or child.
There were other children living in the home but police haven’t revealed their relationship to Romero. The girl’s father lives outside of New Mexico, according to KOAT.
A Facebook page possibly belonging to Romero’s mother indicated she has two teen sons. The outlet reported that CYFD didn’t take any children out of the home the day Romero was found.
Police said an autopsy was performed Sunday and that they’re awaiting the results.
[Featured image: Ariana Romero/GoFundMe]