Landscaper buries dead daughter in neighbor’s yard after asking to bury cat, homeowner says

Landscaper buries dead daughter in neighbor’s yard after asking to bury cat, homeowner says

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KOAT/CNN) - When a New Mexico man’s landscaper asked if he could bury a dead cat in a make-shift pet cemetery in his backyard, he didn’t think much about it.

CAUTION: This story contains details some readers may view as graphic.

That all changed after authorities notified him that the man actually buried a baby in the backyard.

"He pulls the weeds, he cuts them out, 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," said Thurman Dunn, who lives in the home where the body was found.

Dunn said he and most of his roommates went on vacation at the end of December.

He said while they were gone, their landscaper David Zuber called them for a favor.

"It was a cat that had died, one of his cats and he needed to bury it," Dunn said.

Dunn said it wasn't a strange favor for Zuber to ask because they use their backyard as a pet cemetery.

But when they got back at the beginning of January, Dunn said they got a knock on their door.

"Homeland Security, investigation teams, dig sites,” Dunn said. “Everybody's out here."

Albuquerque police said Zuber and his girlfriend, Monique Romero, were arrested last week and charged with child abuse resulting in death after the body of their 1-year-old daughter, Anastazia Romero, was discovered in Dunn’s backyard.

“It was buried in the backyard underneath the remains of a dead dog. The body was inside two layers of a white plastic trash bag inside of a black duffel bag,” police said.

Dunn said he had no clue Zuber buried the child’s body in their back yard and didn’t expect it from him.

“It’s truly devastating to be honest with you,” he said. “Every time I see this, I wonder why.”

Dunn said police are still questioning everyone in his house about the body.

He said police also confiscated their cell phones and tablets.

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