Albuquerque Police says the body of a missing one-year-old girl has been located and the girl’s two parents are being charged in her death.
APD says 1-year old Anastazia Romero’s body was found Friday morning, just days after the girl and her parents, Monique Romero and David “DJ” Zuber were the subject of a missing person bulletin.
Romero and Zuber were taken into custody Friday, both charged with child abuse resulting in death.
According to a news release from Albuquerque Police, investigators located Romero, Zuber and two other children Friday morning at a northeast Albuquerque home, however, Anastazia was not with them.
APD says Anastazia’s body was discovered at a different northeast Albuquerque home Friday.
According to a criminal complaint, the child’s body was found “deceased and buried in the backyard of a residence where David John Zuber stated she would be located.”
Earlier this week, when police first released its missing persons bulletin, APD stated Anastazia Zuber was last spoken of on December 18, 2018. According to the missing persons bulletin, DJ Zuber, Anastazia’s father, told his mother that the girl had drowned in a bathtub.
According to Romero’s criminal complaint, Albuquerque Police officers were called to perform a welfare check at Anastazia’s home on December 18, however, officers never located the child.
The complaint states officers contacted Monique Romero, who said the girl was “was with her aunt.”
It’s unclear exactly happened between the time of APD’s December 18 welfare check and January 2, the date APD released the missing person’s bulletin.
In a release Friday, APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Chief Mike Geier has already launched an internal affairs investigation “to determine whether policies were followed, including new policies that the Chief ordered for the handling of reports of child abuse.”
Police executed a search warrant at the family’s apartment near Central and Juan Tabo on January 3rd, one day after the missing persons bulletin was released. Officers didn’t find any family members at the home.
According to the criminal complaint, officers found Monique Romero, DJ Zuber and two of their children at a house on Macbeth Court northeast Friday, January 4. Anastazia’s body was found at a different home, according to police.
Albuquerque Police say Romero admitted to investigators that Anastazia was dead. According to the criminal complaint, Romero told officers, “she left Anastazia and her two-year-old child in the bathtub full of water unsupervised” at the apartment that Romero and Zuber lived in.
Romero told detectives that she found Anastazia in the bathtub unresponsive. Police says Romero admitted that more than an hour passed and Romero “never sought help” for the girl and didn’t call police or medical assistance.
Romero told police that Zuber took Anastazia’ body and left the apartment. According to the criminal complaint, Zuber returned and told Romero, “it was taken care of.”
Romero was taken by police to be booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) late Friday night.
Police say Zuber was taken to the hospital Friday and hasn’t been transported to MDC yet. Police say along with child abuse resulting in death, Zuber will also be charged with tampering with evidence.
APD says the parents two other children are now in CYFD custody.