An Albuquerque man says the father of the one-year-old girl who was discovered buried in a backyard last week asked him for permission to use his pet cemetery to bury his dead cat.
The lifeless body of Anastazia Zuber was found inside a black duffel bag, wrapped in two garbage bags and under a dead dog last week in Thomas Dunn’S backyard.
Dunn now says the little girl’s father David ‘DJ’ Zuber, 26, worked as his landscaper and had asked permission to bury a dead cat in Dunn’s backyard.
Instead, Dunn was surprised when investigators showed up to his home and found the little girl’s remains buried on his property.
David Zuber, 26 (left), and Monique Romero, 23 (right), have been charged with child abuse resulting in death in the death of their one-year-old daughter, Anastazia
Police found the one-year-old’s body buried in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, backyard on January 4
Thomas Dunn learned that Zuber had buried his own daughter in his backyard when authorities showed up at his home to conduct a search
Pictured is the New Mexico backyard, which also served as a pet cemetery, where Anastazia was found
Police in New Mexico arrested Anastazia’s parents, Monique Romero, 23, and Zuber.
According to a press release from the Albuquerque Police Department, Anastazia Zuber was last mentioned on December 18, 2018, when her father, told his mother that he had drowned the infant in the bathtub.
Eva Zuber contacted the authorities, asking to perform a welfare check at her son’s residence.
Responding officers found no sign of baby Anastazia and were told by Zuber’s girlfriend, Romero, that her daughter was with her aunt.
Dunn said: ‘[Zuber] pulled the weeds, mows the yard, he takes care of the bushes of everything and lately he’s been acting a little strange. We noticed that before Christmas holiday.’
Dunn told KOAT that his backyard ‘is where we have buried all of our dogs that passed away.’
Therefore, he didn’t find it strange when Zuber asked to bury his cat in his backyard.
Just a few weeks later, Dunn said he was surprised to get a knock on the door from ‘homeland security, investigation teams, dig sites…everybody’s here.’
A criminal complaint stated that when Zuber’s brother came by their home the next day asking about Anastazia’s whereabouts, an enraged Zuber grabbed a crowbar and denied drowning her, reported the Albuquerque Journal.
What happened next in the case is now the subject of an investigation by the Albuquerque Police Department’s Internal Affairs division, but it was not until two weeks later that Anatasiza was declared missing and endangered.
Last week police located Zuber, Romero and their two older children, a son and daughter, at a home in the 1900 block of Macbeth NE in Albuquerque.
Zuber then allegedly led police to the backyard of another home, where they dug up a hole in the yard and found Anatsazia’s lifeless body stuffed inside a bag, reported KRQE
Romero told police she left Anastazia (pictured left as a newborn in the fall of 2017) unsupervised with a 2-year-old in a bathtub filled with water in December
Romero allegedly failed to seek medical help for her daughter, and instead her boyfriend, Zuber, took her body away
When interviewed by police, Romero said that she left her youngest daughter and her two-year-old sibling in a bathtub filled with water without supervision last month.
Upon finding her youngest child unresponsive in the tub, she failed to seek medical help or call police.
Instead, her boyfriend took Anastazia’s body and left the apartment, according to the complaint. When he returned later, he allegedly told Romero ‘it was taken care of.’
Both the father and mother were charged with child abuse resulting in death. Zuber is expected to face an additional count of tampering with evidence.
During her initial court appearance on Saturday, prosecutors asked a judge to order her held in jail without bail.
Zuber called his mother on December 18, allegedly telling her he had drowned his and Romero’s (left) baby girl
Romero and Zuber’s two surviving children have been placed in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
According to the description of a GoFundMe campaign seeking donations to help pay for Anastazia’s funeral, the baby was born on October 23, 2017.
‘This little girl was always smiling and had the brightest blue eyes!’ read the page. ‘She was a true joy to be around.’
Zuber has an extensive criminal record in New Mexico, which stretches back to at least 2012 and includes arrests on charges ranging from vehicular violations to domestic violence and aggravated assault.