Interviews shed light on death of Albuquerque child found buried in backyard
June 17, 2019 10:09 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police interviews obtained by KOB 4 shed light on a disturbing case of alleged child abuse involving an Albuquerque couple after their one-year-old daughter was found buried in a backyard in early January.
David Zuber and Monique Romero were interviewed by Albuquerque Police in January in connection with the death of Anastazia Zuber.
“It was an accidental drowning,” David “DJ” Zuber told detectives in an interview hours before his daughter’s body was discovered.
The child was found buried in the backyard of a northeast Albuquerque home in January 2019. The couple claims it all started with an accidental drowning in a bathtub. However, last month a grand jury handed down charges tampering with evidence and child abuse including exposure to meth.
Romero told detectives she was on her phone in the living room searching for a job when her one-year-old daughter drowned in the bath tub in mid-December 2018.
“I would never hurt Anastazia. I would never hurt any of my children ever, ever, ever,” said Romero, adding later: “I said DJ help me… there’s something wrong and he immediately tried to give her CPR.”
Neither Zuber nor Romero called 911 nor sought medical attention for the child, according to police.
Zuber told police during an interview that he didn’t know what to do. The video shows Zuber draw a map, which led police to where the child’s body was buried.
“I didn't even want to put her in the bag but at that point I'm frantic, I'm freaking out,” said Zuber.
Weeks before the taped interview with police, APD conducted a welfare check on the family. Relatives were concerned after the couple reportedly told them they were leaving town.
“Nobody told me that police were looking for Anastazia,” Romero told police.
Despite that December welfare check, police did not locate the child’s body until January.
It’s unclear why it took two weeks for police to send out a missing persons alert – which ultimately triggered an internal affairs investigation within the police department.
Zuber and Romero were released by a judge earlier this year and both have pleaded not guilty.
A jury trial has been tentatively set for August 2020.
Updated: June 17, 2019 10:09 PM
Created: June 17, 2019 09:25 PM
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