ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Malcolm Torres, who is accused of killing his 5-year-old stepdaughter, took a plea deal Monday. In federal court, Torres pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the killing of Renezmae Calzada in 2019.

While too emotional to go on camera, Calzada’s family declined KRQE’s request for interview saying Monday’s hearing has been a lot to unpack. Renezmae Calzada’s disappearance sparked a three-day search led by federal agents. 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, Torres’ grandparents came home on September 8, 2019, to the house they lived at with Malcolm Torres in Española. 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 body was later found on September 11 in the Rio Grande on the Santa Clara Pueblo.

Monday, before Torres admitted to murder of a child in the second degree, prosecutors revisited Calzada’s injuries saying the five year old had experienced several bruises on her back head and legs, a broken wrist and had suffered blunt force trauma leading to a hematoma. Torres admitted that he was heavily intoxicated and did not know exactly how she received the injuries,  he also says he knew about her injuries and did not seek medical attention for Renezmae. Torres concluded that his  actions demonstrated a callous disregard for human life.

Torres agreed to a 35 year plea agreement, he could face up to life in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. KRQE reached out to Torres’ attorney’s for comment, they declined.