911 call reveals chilling moments after killing of Rio Rancho girl | KOB 4

911 call reveals chilling moments after killing of Rio Rancho girl

Nathan O'NEal
November 09, 2018 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Nearly three months following the rape and killing of a little girl in Rio Rancho, authorities have released a recording of the 911 call at the center of the investigation.


911 Call Transcript:

WINSTON SCATES: She's purple. She's cold. She's not breathing. She's gone.
OPERATOR: And they found her this way?
WINSTON SCATES: Yes. I just all of a sudden heard some screaming and hollering. There's blood.
OPERATOR: Where's the blood from? Do you know?
WINSTON SCATES: It looks… from her private parts, it looks like.

Police say Ariana Romeo was both raped and strangled to death in August.

Leland Hust, 21, was arrested and charged in connection to her death.

KOB 4 requested a copy of the 911 call associated with the investigation on October 26 but the request was denied several days later citing that doing so would interfere with the “effectiveness of the investigation or prosecution.”  

In response, KOB filed an Inspection of Public Records Act complaint with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.

On November 9, The Rio Rancho Police Department released the 911 call to KOB 4 Investigates.

Last month, KOB uncovered jailhouse phone calls between Hust and his mom where Hust describes a note he wanted to be delivered to detectives.

“It’s written of what happened that night,” said Hust in the jailhouse phone call to which his mother advised him to tear it up and flush it down the toilet.

Court records reveal little Ariana Romeo was found on a foam mattress in a garage converted into a bedroom.

Winston Scates told the 911 operator Ariana’s mom had recently moved.

It’s still unclear what triggered the killing of Ariana Romeo.

On the 911 call, the operator asked Scates if the young girl was in the room alone to which Scates responded: “I don’t know.”

Hust remains locked up. Last month, he pleaded not guilty. So far, a trial date has not been set.

Scates was arrested on the same day as Hust. He's accused of inappropriately touching a child. He's not charged in the Ariana Romeo case.


Nathan O'NEal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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