ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Investigators confirm they have found the body of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada, three days after she went missing.
Search crews combing the Rio Grande in Española found the body just before noon. The sheriff and FBI held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to confirm the discovery.
Officials didn’t give too many details about the investigation but were very emotional during Wednesday’s announcement.
“Today is for the mourning of Renezmae and offering our condolences to the family,” James Langenberg, Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office.
The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and other local agencies have spent the past three days combing through the neighborhoods where Renezmae lived, and the Rio Grande where they ultimately found her body late Wednesday morning.
Search crews and an Albuquerque Police boat were spotted at the edge of the river on the southern part of town where they found the girl in the water. Although the discovery brings some closure to the case, the investigation is only beginning.
“We will not stop until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae,” Langenberg said.
Renezmae was last seen at her stepfather Malcolm Torres’ home Sunday morning playing in the front yard, while her mom was at work. The mother reported her missing about nine hours later.
Officials say they’ve conducted almost 200 interviews, but would not comment on the investigation beyond that. As KRQE News 13 has reported, the stepfather was arrested Sunday night on warrants related to his DWI cases and is being detained and questioned by authorities about this disappearance.
Investigators did not say when they’d be giving another update on this case. They did, however, thank everyone who helped look for Renezmae.
At this point, investigators say they have not declared this a homicide. They say pending the resulting of an autopsy, they are considering it a suspicious death.
Wednesday night, community members in Espanola held a vigil for Renezmae.