Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – The boyfriend of the mother of the 5-year-old girl whose body was pulled from the Rio Grande after a three-day search on Wednesday allegedly threatened to kill the mom if she ever took his son away from him.
Police aren’t saying Malcolm Torres is a suspect in Renezmae Caldaza’s death. But he has been held in a Tierra Amarilla jail since Sunday for failing to comply with sentencing requirements in a DWI case in Albuquerque.
He was arrested Sunday night shortly after Renezmae was reported missing. He was initially described as a possible suspect, but authorities have since said they have no suspect in the case that has shaken Española-area residents.
The girl’s mother, Victoria Maestas, had a four-year relationship with Torres, which she described as abusive in a request for a restraining order against Torres she filed last month, shortly after she had filed a petition asking a court “to let me see my children until something is decided.”
The restraining order request seems to indicate that Maestas and Torres are the parents of a 19-month-old boy named Ignacio, though the boy is listed as having a different surname than either of them.
“For the last 4 years, he’s hit me, called me name(s) and threatened me,” says Maestas’ Aug. 8 filing asking for protection from domestic abuse against Torres.
Reiterating an account from a police report that the Journal has previously reported on, Maestas says in the filing that Torres hit her on Halloween last year and was arrested in the incident. “He said if I ever took his son hed (sic) kill me,” she wrote.
Maestas also said in the petition that Torres called her names, had thrown things at her and has held a knife to her throat. “He’s done it all in front of our children,” she wrote.
She says she went to work with black eyes and took Renezmae to a counselor after the Halloween night incident.
Maestas says in the petition that she has text messages that show that “he wants me to pick up my daughter in the middle of the night cuz he things Im doing something. I have messages of him pressuring me into sex.”
Maestas also complained that Torres switched her daughter’s school without her permission.
The petition asked that Torres stay away from her and not contact her, and that she be awarded temporary custody of both children until a court hearing.
A little more than a week after the filing, on Aug. 16, District Judge Sylvia LaMar signed a stipulated order of protection granting the restraining order. The couple agreed to share custody, with each of them being responsible for the children a week at a time. They were to exchange custody of the children each Friday at a school day care facility.
Renezmae was last seen alive playing outside at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, but she wasn’t reported missing until Sunday night when Maestas called 911.
Court records show that there was supposed to be a Family Court Services hearing regarding the custody matter on Wednesday, the day Renezmae’s body was recovered from the Rio Grande near Española.
While court documents suggest Maestas and Torres are the parents of the toddler Ignacio, who was with Maestas at a memorial vigil for Renezmae on Wednesday night, Torres is not Renezmae’s father. Police say Renezmae’s father lives in southern New Mexico.