ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – New documents reveal more about the murder of a 5-year-old Española girl who was killed more than three years ago. Renezmae Calzada’s disappearance sparked a massive Amber alert and search before her body was found in September 2019.
Her stepfather, and accused killer, Malcolm Torres has filed a motion to have his first-degree murder charge thrown out. However, in a response to Torres’ motion, the United States Attorney’s Office for New Mexico lays out new details about what happened before the Amber Alert was issued.
Renezmae Calzada’s disappearance sparked a three-day search lead by federal agents. “We will not stop until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae,” said FBI Albuquerque Special Agent-in-Charge James Langenberg during a September 2019 news conference.
While many in the community searched for Renezmae between September 8 and 11 in 2019, authorities say the girl was already dead before the first call to authorities was ever made.
According to court documents, Renezmae’s grandparents came home on September 8, 2019, to the house they lived at with Malcolm Torres. Prosecutors alleged that Torres told the grandparents that his stepdaughter had been missing all day.
Federal investigators allege the grandparents called Renezmae’s mother, who then alerted authorities. Torres left the house and was later arrested on an unrelated probation violation for a DWI.
When Torres was in custody, federal investigators say he gave conflicting answers about what happened to Renezmae, including saying the girl just walked away from the house. Her lifeless body was found on September 11 in the Rio Grande on the Santa Clara Pueblo. Federal court documents state a blow to the girl’s head, a broken wrist, and other bruising were consistent with child abuse.
Prosecutors went on to say Torres had been drinking and even messaged and texted people that he needed their help. Authorities then detailed Torres’ travels on September 8 leading up to the call to the police about Renezmae’s disappearance.
According to the documents, Torres went with his 18-month-old son to meet someone at a smoke shop to buy alcohol. Renezmae was not with them.
The FBI says phone records show Torres then went home before leaving again to buy gas and a lollipop for his son. He then drove to the Rio Grande where authorities believe he dumped Renezmae’s body in the river.
They say alcohol bottles and a candy wrapper were found along the riverbank. Prosecutors also say the girl’s blood was found on the carpet of Torres’s truck.
The feds also say Torres told several people Renezmae was dead. He told one friend he put her in the river and he told another friend she died of an aneurysm and was at the funeral home.
The defense is asking for certain evidence to be excluded from the trial and for multiple counts of the indictment to be dismissed. No hearing date on those motions has been set.