Renezmae Calzada's body was found in the Rio Grande river on September 11

By Steve Helling
September 16, 2019 03:01 PM
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Credit: New Mexico State Police

A 5-year-old New Mexico girl who went missing earlier this month has been found dead — and police are investigating… for a suspect in her death.

Renezmae Calzada was reported missing on September 8. Her mother called police at 6 pm after the girl disappeared while playing outside her home. She vanished from Española, approximately 25 miles north of Santa Fe. She was last seen wearing blue shorts with stars and a Disney Frozen shirt.

“Anytime a 5-year-old is missing, we’re going to assume she’s in danger,” Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan said during a press conference last Monday, the day after she vanished.

Two days later, the family’s worst fears were realized. On Wednesday, the FBI announced that Renezmae’s remains had been found in the Rio Grande river. She has been taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine a cause of death.

Credit: New Mexico State Police

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In a press conference after Renezmae was found, FBI Special Agent James Langenberg told reporters that they had searched two miles of the river before finding her body. He also said that they have interviewed nearly 200 people in the case.

“I can assure you this investigation has not stopped,” Langenberg said. “We’ll continue to work until we can identify the responsible party for Renezmae.”

Credit: New Mexico State Police

The day that the little girl vanished, authorities arrested her mother’s boyfriend on unrelated charges. In the press conference, Sheriff Lujan said that he “might be” connected to Renezmae’s case — but he has not yet been formally identified as a suspect.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Renezmae’s mother has previously gotten a restraining order against her boyfriend, alleging that he has been violent and threatening to her and her children. The Sheriff’s office did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call.

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