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Santa Fe police say DNA proves teen is not missing child

September 16, 2011 |  3:00 pm

Was it a prank? A publicity stunt? Or a mistaken belief? The Santa Fe Police Department isn't commenting beyond a statement released today that says DNA evidence proves that a 19-year-old is not Robbie Romero, who has been missing since 2000.

Romero was 7 when he disappeared while walking home from school in Santa Fe with a friend, prompting a widespread search.

Earlier this week, a 19-year-old who bore a striking resemblence to Romero came forward, contacting  Romero's family to say he was the missing boy. But police said Friday afternoon that a DNA exam proves Robbie Terrazas is not the missing boy. The statement says in part:

The result of the exam is that Mr. Terrazas is NOT Ms. Romero’s missing child; Robbie Romero. We informed Ms. Romero of the DNA results before the conference.

The missing case of Robbie Romero will remain open and active.

The possibility that a missing child could be found after so many years -- like Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped as an 11-year-old in Placerville, Calif., and held in captivity for nearly two decades -- attracted widespread media attention Friday. The Santa Fe Police Department was deluged with telephone calls, and opted to hold a news conference to get the world out about the latest development.

So why did Terrazas claim to be Robbie Romero? Terrazas' mother told News 13 that her son has suffered from emotional problems since a suicide attempt earlier this year.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch