Possible suspect detained in Northern New Mexico girl’s disappearance

Crime

ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Local and federal law enforcement are continuing the search for a missing 5-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert Sunday night.

The Rio Arriba County Sheriff says Renezmae Calzada was last seen playing in the front yard of her Española home Sunday morning around 9 a.m., she was not reported missing until 6:45 p.m. by a person believed to be her mother. An Amber Alert was triggered by authorities by 10:45 p.m.

Investigators say one man has been detained with a possible connection the girl’s disappearance.

At a news conference Monday, investigators from the sheriff’s office and the FBI said they cannot confirm if Calzada was kidnapped, however, they believe her life is in danger.

Authorities began a widespread search for the girl Monday starting with searching the neighborhood.

“(Search crews are) knocking on every single door in Renezmae’s neighborhood, asking for anyone who has any information about perhaps what they saw, what they heard in the last 24 hours that might have provided clues as to her location,” said James Langenberg, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s New Mexico branch.

Dozens of community members also helped in the search efforts Monday, looking in nearby canals and ditches and a vast rugged area behind Española Valley High School, which is close to the girl’s home.

“(The area is) treacherous, there’s been a lot of couches and stuff, we’ve been flipping mattresses, looking under everything that we could possibly look and ditches, everything, we’ve been looking,” said Jeanette War, a community volunteer helping search Monday.

The Rio Arriba County Sheriff the 5-year-old Renezmae was last seen playing in her front yard near McCurdy Road and Fairview Lane around 9 a.m. Sunday. She was wearing a Disney’s “Frozen” t-shirt and blue shorts with stars. The girl is four-feet tall with brown hair, brown eyes and weighs around 35 to 40 pounds.

Sheriff James Lujan says the girl’s mother called 911 around 6 p.m. to report her missing. Investigators say they have no reason to believe Renezmae was taken by a family member. They’re also still investigating why there was a roughly 9-hour time span between the time the girl was last seen and when she went missing.

Authorities haven’t released any information on the man taken into custody Sunday night who may be tied to the case.

“We have a gentleman in custody and he was arrested by the Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office on three outstanding warrants of Bernalillo County,” Sheriff James Lujan said.

The sheriff’s office and the FBI would not name that man, nor say what, if any connection he may have to the girl or the neighborhood.

The sheriff says there is no indication that anybody saw someone approach the girl in her front yard. Investigators are hoping there is surveillance out there that will provide clues to the disappearance.

While community volunteers are holding out hope they’ll find Renezmae, they’re also urging others to help.

“Just don’t give up on this girl, she deserves a life, she deserves a future, and I hope that she’s OK,” said Ashley Vigil, a volunteer who was helping search efforts Monday.

If you have any information, call the Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office at 505-753-3329 or Rio Arriba Central Dispatch at 505-753-5555, option #7.

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