Albuquerque-Metro

Judge releases mom accused in 1-year-old daughter's death

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Judge Daniel Gallegos denied prosecutors' request to keep the mother of a 1-year-old girl, who police say was left in a bathtub to drown and then buried in a yard, behind bars.

In court Wednesday, Monique Romero showed no emotion as prosecutors detailed the crime she's accused of committing.

She was arrested last week after police found the body of her 1-year-old daughter, Anastazia Zuber, buried in the backyard of a relative's home in the Northeast Heights. 

Police say Romero and the father, David Zuber, had been telling family members since mid-December that the baby drowned in a bathtub. 

In court Wednesday, an Albuquerque Police detective said when he interviewed Romero, she told him she left Anastazia and her 2-year-old sister in the tub of their apartment unattended while she went downstairs to look for a job on her phone. 

"She went into the bathroom and found A.Z. laying face down in the bathtub, blue, and what she described as rubber," said Detective Gabe Candelaria. 

He also said there was a syringe and a pipe with meth in it found inside the family's apartment. 

The state then mentioned that Romero was investigated by CYFD two years ago when her 2-year-old child was born addicted to drugs.

The detective also spoke about his interview with the child's father, David Zuber, who has also been arrested for the death.

He said Zuber told the mother he would, "take care of it."  The child then disappeared. Police found the buried body last week. 

Candelaria said the couple's 3-month-old baby had bruises on his body when the family was finally located. 

While the judge released Romero, he is ordering drug testing and no contact with minors. However, he is allowing contact with her children, with CYFD presence.

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