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Brother of buried baby dies while in foster care

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In January, detectives arrested two parents and took away their remaining children after the couple admitted they had buried their baby girl in a backyard. Now police say the girl’s sibling, another infant, died at the home of a foster family Thursday.

Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said officers responded to a call about an infant who was unresponsive when he was brought to a hospital Thursday.

“The infant was pronounced deceased at the hospital,” he said. Gallegos did not say how the boy died.

He said the infant was a sibling of Anastazia Zuber, the daughter of Monique Romero, 23, and David Zuber, 26.

Both Romero and Zuber were arrested Jan. 4 after police say the couple hid Anastazia’s death and buried her body in the backyard of a northeast Albuquerque home.

“Two siblings, including the infant that died (Thursday), were placed into the custody of (the state Children, Youth and Families Department) when the parents were arrested,” Gallegos said.

Zuber and Romero have since been released from jail after a judge denied the state’s motion to hold the couple until trial.

A CYFD spokesman, Tripp Stelnicki, confirmed that the child was in the custody of a foster care family in the Albuquerque area.

“CYFD is taking every precaution to ensure that the case is properly and thoroughly investigated,” he said.

Stelnicki was unable to release further information or details about the death.

The family came to the attention of the Albuquerque Police Department in mid-December when, police say, Zuber’s relatives told them the family disappeared after David Zuber made disturbing claims that Anastazia had drowned in the bathtub. An officer did a welfare check at the time, and, although the baby was not found, Romero told them Anastazia was with her sister.

It wasn’t until Jan. 2 that police reached out to the media asking for help finding the family, believing Anastazia might have been in danger.

Officers found the couple and their other two children on Jan. 4 at a home in the 1900 block of Macbeth NE and dug up Anastazia’s body in another backyard that same day.

Romero told police she found the baby dead in the bathtub with her 2-year-old sibling after leaving them alone but did not call police or seek help.

Instead, Romero told police, Zuber took the body and left, telling her “it was taken care of” when he returned.

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