1-Year-Old Girl's Dad Claims She Drowned and Then Vanished — Her Body Was Found Buried in Yard
The parents of a New Mexico infant are accused of being responsible for her death after her body was found buried in a backyard, according to multiple outlets.
On Friday, David “D.J.” Zuber, 26, and Monique Romero, 23, were arrested for child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence and conspiracy after the body of their 1-year-old daughter, Anastazia, was found buried in the backyard of an Albuquerque home, Fox6Now, WTVM and the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Authorities began searching for Anastazia after Zuber called his mother on Dec. 18 and told her she had drowned in the bathtub, according to a police news release previously obtained by PEOPLE.
Unable to reach the family, police issued a missing person alert for Anastazia, her parents and her two siblings two weeks later on Jan. 2, WTNM reported.
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On Jan. 4, authorities located the couple and two of their children at an Albuquerque home, KRQE reported. Romero allegedly admitted to police that her daughter had drowned after she left her and Anastazia’s older sibling in the bathtub unsupervised.
She told police when she discovered her daughter’s lifeless body in the tub, she did not seek medical attention and instead, let Zuber take the girl out of the apartment. When he came back without her, he claimed “it had been taken care of,” according to WTVM.
Zuber allegedly told police where they could find his daughter’s body, according to the station.
“It’s tough for detectives to go out to a location, dig a hole, find a dead baby in a bag and then have to build a case around that. It’s horrible,” police spokesperson Simon Drobik said, WTVM reports. “So, I would ask the public to think about that child.”
Anastazia’s body was found at a different home in Albuquerque. It remains unclear how she died. It is unclear if Romero or Zuber have attorneys.
A spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.