Rio Rancho police identify 6-yr-old girl found dead at home; investigation still ongoing
August 14, 2018 06:03 AM
RIO RANCHO, N.M. – Rio Rancho Police officials asserted in a Monday press conference no outstanding suspects have been identified in the weekend death of a 6-year-old girl.
That girl was identified as Ariana Romeo; she was set to start first grade on Tuesday at Ernest Stapleton Elementary. Instead, police say her body was found at her family's home on Moonstone on Saturday morning.
"I went out there on Saturday and there's like a van, a bunch of cop cars and crime scene tape," said nearby resident Kaila Hunt.
While RRPD officers continue to investigate the incident along with state welfare workers, they said it's "possible" that sexual abuse could have been "an element in this crime."
"Until we have probable cause to believe we are sure who our suspect is, then we can pursue charges and make an arrest," officials said.
No one has been arrested so far in the investigation, though police say several have been questioned.
"We bought this house. We're going to be here a long time and to know there are people like that in this neighborhood that's been so wonderful and quiet, that really concerns me," Hunt said.
Police say Ariana's biological dad lives out of the state and wasn't in New Mexico when she was killed. None of the other children in the residence are believed to be in danger.
Police added that there is a history from RRPD and the Children, Youth and Families Department at the home. CYFD is conducting its own, separate investigation.
Updated: August 14, 2018 06:03 AM
Created: August 13, 2018 05:19 PM
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