APD: Death of baby in CYFD custody under investigation

Police are investigating the death of an infant who’s been in the custody of a CYFD foster family since the infant’s two parents were charged in a different high-profile child death case.

The Albuquerque Police Department confirmed the investigation Thursday, while also confirming that the infant who died is the son of Monique Romero and David Zuber.

Romero and Zuber were both charged with child abuse resulting in death in January 2019, relating to the death of their daughter, 1-year-old Anastazia Zuber.

Currently, Romero and Zuber’s charges have been dropped, or listed as “nolle prosequi,” as prosecutors await the results of Anastazia’s autopsy. However, prosecutors are likely to refile the case in the coming weeks or months.

When APD arrested Romero and Zuber in January, a criminal complaint detailed how investigators believe Anastazia was left in a bathtub without adult supervision in December and later found dead.

Police believe Zuber then took Anastazia’s body and buried her in the backyard of an Albuquerque home near Eubank and Menual.

After their arrest, APD said Zuber and Romero’s two other children were placed into CYFD foster care.

In Thursday’s news release, APD stated Zuber and Romero’s child, an infant boy, was found unresponsive at a CYFD foster home Thursday morning. APD says the infant was taken to UNMH, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators are now trying to determine what caused the boy’s death. APD has not said if it suspects foul play at the foster home.

After the couple’s arrest in January, prosecutors tried to keep both Zuber and Romero behind bars through trial. During the “pre-trial detention” hearing, prosecutors argued that Romero had been on CYFD’s radar in the past, alleging that the mother was investigated by the state agency years ago after one of her kids was born addicted to drugs.

Judge Charles Brown ultimately opted to release both parents from custody with specific conditions of release. The parents were not granted custody of their kids, but they were allowed to visit them.

A person claiming to be related to Zuber and Romero told KRQE News 13 Thursday that the parents had both expected to visit their infant son Thursday morning when they learned that the boy had been taken to the hospital.

CYFD declined to comment on the situation Thursday, only stating that the department is investigating the death of a child in the custody of CYFD foster parents. The department also told KRQE News 13 it cannot release information about any specific individuals or situations, per state law.

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