ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds gathered at the plaza in Española for a prayer vigil in honor of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada, including the girl’s mother and little brother.
KRQE News 13 spoke with family friends who knew Renezmae, including one who watched her when she was a toddler. They say she was funny, very smart and loved to sing and dance. Everyone who came out Wednesday night says they were in shock when they heard she had gone missing.
“The last three days have been something that nobody should wish on anyone,” a family friend said.
“As you all know, Mae-Mae was an exceptional child. She was loved by so many people. She’s truly someone that will never be forgotten.”
Hundreds gathered at the plaza in Espanola. Renezmae’s mother and younger brother sat in the middle of the gazebo, surrounded by family and friends. Those who spoke to the crowd asked for the community to pray for the family.
KRQE News 13 also spoke with many people who helped in the search efforts. Manny Valdez says all of the volunteers stayed hopeful, but that hope turned to heartbreak when rescue crews discovered her body in the Rio Grande.
“I believe this is a sense of relief, a sense of closure for the community, hopefully for the family it’s a sense of closure. It’s not the outcome we wanted, nobody wanted this outcome,” Valdez said.
The family had pastors and prayer leaders speak at the vigil before Renezmae’s little brother lit the first candle, that then spread among the crowd.
Renezmae’s mother briefly addressed the crowd, thanking the volunteers for helping search for her daughter and the community for all its support.