Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Boy Is in Officers' Lives.

Byline: S.U. Mahesh Journal Staff Writer

* Investigators say they're giving probe into Robbie Romero's disappearance all they've got

Even on his off days, Santa Fe Police Detective Eric Johnson says he drives around the Bellamah neighborhood where 7-year-old Robbie Romero was last seen nearly five months ago.

"I still find myself driving through the neighborhood just hoping to get a glimpse of something that is unusual, something that can help us," said Johnson, one of the investigators assigned to finding the boy.

Santa Fe police have checked out hundreds of tips and still continue to follow through every lead they get into Robbie's disappearance, but none so far has led them to the boy.

He vanished the evening of June 7 after leaving a neighbor's house in the 2900 block of Bellamah Drive, his family has said.

What started as a regular missing person's case snowballed into a nationwide search for the second-grader, likely the victim of homicide, police have said. His disappearance has baffled seasoned investigators like Johnson.

"Since I've been here, I've never run into a case like this where they just disappear without a trace," said Johnson, a 14-year veteran with the department.

In a majority of missing-children cases, Johnson said, the children are either found at a neighbor's house or friend's home. Sometimes, they leave school with friends without telling their parents.

Someone usually comes forward with eyewitness information about seeing the child somewhere or with someone, he said.

In Robbie's case, no such information has surfaced.

"We have talked probably to several hundred people, and the problem with that is when you are dealing with that many people everybody sees something different and it might not be even related to the case," he said. "But being that it was a high-profile case, people started coming forward and just mentioning every little thing that they saw."

The one piece

After chasing hundreds of leads and conducting hundreds of interviews, investigators still are waiting for that single piece of information crucial to breaking the case. …

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