A New Mexico girl whose reported disappearance on Sunday sparked an AMBER Alert was found dead on Wednesday following a three-day search.
Two sources who were reportedly involved in the search effort told the Rio Grande Sun that Renezmae Calzada, 5, was discovered in the Rio Grande river near Santa Clara Pueblo. Calzada was said to have vanished while playing in front of her Española home on Sunday at around 9:45 a.m.
Search crews and Alberquerque police were searching at the edge of the Rio Grande in southern Española when they found the 5-year-old in the water, according to KQRE.
Though Calzada reportedly disappeared on Sunday morning, records obtained by the Sun stated that her mother, Victoria Maestas, didn’t report her missing until 7:39 p.m.
KRQE reported that the home where Calzada was last seen alive belonged to her stepfather, Malcolm Torres. The Sun obtained dispatch reports stating that Torres had called Maestas claiming her daughter had vanished that morning. Torres didn’t report Calzada missing because he believed Maestas’ family had picked her up, dispatchers wrote.
The Albuquerque News Journal that the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office had called Torres—who was arrested the evening Calzada vanished—a possible suspect. However, a spokesperson told the news outlet on Tuesday that Torres isn’t a suspect.
KRQE reported that Torres’ arrest was related to some DWI charges, though he was questioned about his stepdaughter’s disappearance. Authorities said they’ve interviewed almost 200 people as part of their ongoing investigation.
Torres and Maestas reportedly have a son together. Court records revealed that Maestas had filed for custody in early August, leading to a child support hearing being scheduled for November 7. The records also showed that a Family Court Services “consultation continuation appointment” was scheduled for Wednesday— the same day Calzada’s body was found, according to the News Journal.
The Sun reported that several search warrants have been filed in this case but they’re sealed, meaning only they can only be accessed by law enforcement or through a court order.
While authorities haven’t officially deemed Calzada’s death a homicide, they’re reportedly considering her death suspicious. An autopsy is pending.
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[Featured image: Renezmae Calzada/New Mexico State Police]