It’s been nearly two weeks since 6-year-old Ariana Romeo was found murdered in a Rio Rancho home where she was staying with her mother.
Disturbing stories have come out about the homeowner. However, with no arrests, neighbors are on edge and want answers.
“Everybody’s kind of concerned,” said one neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.
In the once quiet Rio Rancho neighborhood, one horrific crime is lurking in the minds of the people who live there.
“Shock…. ’cause it’s a really quiet neighborhood so it was just shocking,” said the neighbor.
People who live close by don’t want to show their face, as no arrest has been made since 6-year-old Ariana Romeo was found murdered and possibly sexually assaulted inside a home on Moonstone Drive, where she and her mom were staying.
The homeowner had been accused in the past of molesting a girl who was staying with him. Police have been tight-lipped about details, but it’s hard for people not to come up with their own theories.
“And just given those tiny little details that’s so fuzzy, it’s… your imagination just kind of cuts loose,” said the neighbor.
Now, KRQE News 13 has obtained the “Return and Inventory” form of all the evidence State Police took from the home, where Romeo was found on a bloody foam mattress, in a makeshift bedroom, half naked.
Among the items collected — a bloody towel, tissues, a princess pillow and a Playboy magazine, all found near her body; as well as a rope outside by the trash, and three pairs of men’s underwear.
Although so much evidence was collected, police say they’re still working with the medical examiner to determine a cause of death.
Still, one big issue is looming over the neighbors.
“That’s scary to know they’re still on the loose and possibly super close,” said the neighbor.
Rio Rancho Police say there are still waiting on DNA results to make an arrest, and a spokesperson confirmed it is a possibility they will have to get warrants to collect the DNA from people that were inside the home.
As for the homeowner, who was investigated in 2011 for allegedly molesting a 4-year-old, Rio Rancho Police said as of now, that case has not been reopened.