A 5-year-old girl was found dead in New Mexico on Wednesday, Sept. 11, three days after authorities issued an Amber Alert.
Renezmae Calzada was last seen at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office said.
“It’s a bit of bad news. Renezmae’s body has been located, her remains have been located,” Sheriff James Lujan said at a press conference that was originally scheduled to give an update on the search.
FBI agents, police officers, and community members scoured the area and found the girl’s body in Española around noon on Wednesday.
The body is slated to undergo an autopsy to pinpoint the cause of death.
The FBI previously said Renezmae was not reported missing for nearly 10 hours after she vanished.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I stand here today,” said James Langenberg with the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.
“I can assure you this investigation has not stopped,” he said later. “We’ll continue to work until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae.”
“Everyone give their prayers to the family and Renezmae,” the sheriff added.
Authorities conducted over 175 interviews during the search and spent days looking over the area with assistance.
Neither the sheriff nor Langenberg took questions after the news conference. They said they’d give updates on a later date.
Lujan told the Albuquerque Journal earlier in the week: “We’re pretty sure it wasn’t a parental abduction.”
A man was taken into custody earlier in the week. He was named as Malcolm Torres, the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, KQRE reported.
Torres was arrested on three outstanding warrants, including failure to comply in multiple past driving while intoxicated cases.
Court records the outlet obtained showed Renezmae’s mother officially asked the court to order Torres to pay her child support, as well as establish visitation with the girl and another child.
Torres was no longer considered a suspect, authorities told KGRT on Tuesday.
There were 424,066 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2017, there were 464,324 entries.
“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted.
The center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 25,00 missing children. In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, 3 percent were critically missing young adults between the ages of 17 and 21, 1 percent were lost, injured, or otherwise missing children, and less than one percent were nonfamily abductions.
The center was founded by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children.
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