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Five-year-old girl who disappeared playing outside her step-dad’s is found dead in the Rio Grande

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A five-year-old girl who went missing while playing out of the front of her family home three days ago has been found dead in the Rio Grande, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The body of Renezmae Calzada, five, was found in the Espanola area of the Rio Grande, near Santa Clara Pueblo, at midday.

She was seen playing outside the home of her stepfather, Malcolm Torres, in Espanola at 9:30am. 

However her mother, Victoria Maestas, didn’t report her missing until 7:39pm – more than ten hours later – triggering an amber alert in the area.

Officials from the local Sheriff’s department and FBI offered few details about the investigation, but expressed their sincere condolences to the girl’s family.

The body of Renezmae Calzada, five, was found in the Espanola area, near Santa Clara Pueblo, at noon on September 11. She was seen playing outside of her step-father's home in Espanola at 9:30am. Her mother reported her missing more than ten hours later at 7:39pm, triggering an amber alert in the area.

Renezmae Calzada

The body of Renezmae Calzada, five, was found in the Espanola area, near Santa Clara Pueblo, at noon on September 11. She was seen playing outside of her step-father’s home in Espanola at 9:30am. Her mother reported her missing more than ten hours later at 7:39pm, triggering an amber alert in the area.

The five-year-old’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres (left), was caring for Renezmae on Sunday while her mother, Victoria Maestas (right), was at work

The five-year-old’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres (left), was caring for Renezmae on Sunday while her mother, Victoria Maestas (right), was at work

For the past three days, over 100 officials from the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and other local agencies have conducted a tireless search of the surrounding neighborhoods where Renezmae lived, and the Rio Grande where her body was eventually found.

Dive crews and an Albuquerque Police boat were seen stalking the edge of the river at the southern part of the town, where they found the girl floating in the water.

FBI Special Agent James Langenberg said authorities searched within half a mile of the homes of Renezmae’s mother and stepfather. About two miles of the river were also searched.

Between 175 to 200 people were also interviewed over the last 72 hours, according to Langenberg.

For the past three days, over 100 officials from the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and other local agencies have conducted a tireless search of the surrounding neighborhoods where Renezmae lived, and the Rio Grande where her body was eventually found

For the past three days, over 100 officials from the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and other local agencies have conducted a tireless search of the surrounding neighborhoods where Renezmae lived, and the Rio Grande where her body was eventually found

Dive crews and an Albuquerque Police boat were seen stalking the edge of the river at the southern part of the town, where they found the girl floating in the water

Dive crews and an Albuquerque Police boat were seen stalking the edge of the river at the southern part of the town, where they found the girl floating in the water

Between 175 to 200 people were also interviewed over the last 72 hours

Between 175 to 200 people were also interviewed over the last 72 hours

Officials refused to clarify where they are currently pursuing potential suspects in relation to Renezmae’s death, but assured ‘this investigation has not stopped. We’ll continue to work until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae,’ Langenberg said.

The five-year-old’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres, was caring for Renezmae on Sunday while her mother, Victoria Maestas, was at work.

However, when he couldn’t find Renezmae, he didn’t report her missing and instead presumed a member of Victoria’s family had picked her up.

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Torres was later taken into custody at a nearby Dairy Queen in the early hours of Monday morning, just hours after the girl was reported missing.

He was not charged in connection with her disappearance, instead held on three warrants for failing to comply with requirements of his sentencing in a DWI case in Albuquerque.

Torres was initially considered a suspect, but, as of Tuesday, a Sheriff’s office spokesman said that was no longer the case.

The five-year-old’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres, was caring for Renezmae on Sunday while her mother, Victoria Maestas, was at work. However, when he couldn't find Renezmae, he didn’t report her missing and instead presumed a member of Victoria’s family had picked her up.

Torres was initially considered a suspect, but, as of Tuesday, a Sheriff’s office spokesman said that was no longer the case

The five-year-old’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres, was caring for Renezmae on Sunday while her mother, Victoria Maestas, was at work. However, when he couldn’t find Renezmae, he didn’t report her missing and instead presumed a member of Victoria’s family had picked her up. Torres was initially considered a suspect, but, as of Tuesday, a Sheriff’s office spokesman said that was no longer the case.

‘We have absolutely nothing,’ sheriff spokesperson Randy Sanches said of the investigation at the time, according to the Journal. ‘We have no starting point.’

Renezmae, who was last seen wearing blue shorts and a Disney Frozen t-shirt, was deemed to be ‘in danger’.

Officials added at that time that authorities were investigating the delay in reporting Renezmae missing, saying they were ‘pretty sure it wasn’t a parental abduction.’

Hours after news of her death was made public, hundreds of locals gathered in Espanola’s plaza for a prayer vigil in Renezmae’s honor.

Among the crowd gathered was the girl’s mother and younger brother.

Hours after news of her death was made public, hundreds of locals gathered in Espanola’s plaza for a prayer vigil in Renezmae’s honor

Hours after news of her death was made public, hundreds of locals gathered in Espanola’s plaza for a prayer vigil in Renezmae’s honor

Mourners remembered the young girl as ‘funny, very smart’ with a passion for singing and dancing.

‘The last three days have been something that nobody should wish on anyone,’ a family friend told KRQE.

‘As you all know, Mae-Mae was an exceptional child. She was loved by so many people and will never be forgotten.’

Renezmae’s mother briefly addressed the crowd, thanking the volunteers for helping search for her daughter and the community for all its support.

Anyone with any information regarding Renezmae’s death is asked to call the Rio Arriba County Sherriff’s Office at (505) 753-5555.

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