A man from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said that a father who had come last week seeking permission to allegedly bury his dead cat in the man's backyard pet cemetery actually buried the body of his one-year-old girl there.
The body of Anastazia Zuber was found inside of a black duffel bag, wrapped up in two garbage bags, and unceremoniously buried under a dead dog last week in Thomas Dunn's backyard. Dunn has now said that the child's father, 26-year-old David "DJ" Zuber, worked as Dunn's landscaper and had allegedly asked him to bury a dead cat in the backyard.
The Daily Mail reported that Dunn had been surprised when detectives turned up at his doorstep and found the infant girl's remains buried on his property after a search. The authorities in New Mexico have subsequently arrested 23-year-old Monique Romero and Zuber, the child's parents.
The Albuquerque Police Department is asking for your help in locating one-year-old Anastazia Zuber and her family. If you have any information, please call Crime Stoppers at (505)843-STOP. pic.twitter.com/TlNU9E1MOp— Albuquerque Police (@ABQPOLICE) January 3, 2019
According to a press release by the Albuquerque Police Department, the infant was last spoken about on December 18 last year when Zuber told his mother that his daughter had drowned in the bathtub. Eva Zuber then called the authorities and asked them to perform a welfare check on the infant at her son's residence.
The responding officers did not find any sign of the baby and were told by Romero that her daughter was with her aunt at the time. Dunn told KOAT: "[Zuber] pulls 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 the Christmas holiday." He also told the channel that his backyard "is where we have buried all of our dogs that passed away".
It is because of this reason that he didn't think it was odd when Zuber asked if he could bury his dead "cat" in the backyard. A few weeks after that, Dunn said that he was shocked to get a knock on his door from the homeland security and the investigation teams.
The Albuquerque Journal reported that a criminal complaint since then has stated that Zuber's brother went to their home the following day and asked where the infant was. This is when a furious Zuber allegedly grabbed a crowbar and denied that he drowned his daughter. The series of events that followed this is now the subject of an investigation that is being held by the Albuquerque PD's Internal Affairs division. It was a full two weeks after the infant disappeared that she was declared missing and endangered.
The authorities found Zuber, Romero, and their two older children, a boy and a girl, in a home on the 1900 block of Macbeth NE, Albuquerque last week. KRQE reported that Zuber allegedly took the officers to the backyard of another house where they found Anastazia's corpse stuffed inside a bag after digging.
It was on further investigation that Romero said that she had left her youngest child and her 2-year-old child unsupervised in a bathtub last month. She found her youngest unresponsive in the tub full of water but she did not call emergency services or the police.
According to the complaint, Zuber instead took the infant's body and left the apartment and it was said that when he returned to the home later on, he allegedly told Romero "it was taken care of". Both he and Romero were charged with child abuse resulting in death. Zuber will face an additional count for tampering with evidence.
When she appeared for her initial appearance on January 12, the prosecutors asked a judge to order that Romero is held in jail without bail. The two surviving children of the couple have been placed in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. Zuber also has a long criminal record in New Mexico which dates back to at least 2012. It includes arrests that range from vehicular violations to domestic violence and aggravated assault.