One year later: Community remembers Rio Rancho girl who was raped, killed | KOB 4

One year later: Community remembers Rio Rancho girl who was raped, killed

Ryan Laughlin
August 12, 2019 03:23 PM

RIO RANCHO, N.M.- An online community remembered Ariana Jade Romero on the anniversary of her death.


Joell Leah, who runs the Justice for Jade Facebook page, asked people to light a candle for Ariana Sunday night.

"[I] wanted to try and make a contribution, no matter how small," Leah said.

The six-year-old girl's lifeless body was found in a cluttered Rio Rancho house a year ago. Police said she was raped and killed.

Several weeks after Romero's death, 21-year-old Leland Hust was arrested. Police said they recovered his DNA from Ariana's body. 

Hust is facing a rape charge, along with child abuse resulting in death. 

He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to begin in February 2020.


Ryan Laughlin

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