A local funeral director wants to help the family of a murdered 6-year-old bring her body back to Hillsborough County.
David Wolf is the funeral director at Haught Funeral Home in Plant City, he saw the report on 6-year-old Ariana Jade Romeo over the weekend and called News Channel 8, offering to help.
“As funeral directors we see tragedy all the time, but the greatest tragedy is the death of a child,” said Wolf. “Anytime you are dealing with the death of a child under 18 the ‘next of kin’ is their parents. That being said, it is both parents. And when you have two parents who aren’t agreeing on what has to happen that is something they have to work on internally.”
Wolf said he will deeply discount the cost to get Ariana home and to lay her to rest.
Ariana’s father, Joseph Romeo lives in Wimauma.
Angela Torn, a friend of the family set up a GoFundMe to help cover the funeral costs.
Romeo was found dead last week. Court documents say 6-year-old Ariana was found on bloody sheets with marijuana and medications near her body.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the girl was found on a piece of foam in the garage, with no pants or underwear and that there was “damage” to the girl’s genitals.
Rio Rancho police say they’re investigating the death as a homicide. They say an autopsy will be done to determine how Ariana Romeo was killed.
No arrests have been made in the case yet, but detectives have executed search warrants with help from the FBI and residents of the home have been interviewed. Police are also said to have searched for any evidence of child pornography at the home. Multiple tablets and USB drives were seized, according to the search warrant.
Police told the Albuquerque Journal that the girl’s mother was in the home when officers responded to a 911 call Saturday. Neighbors tell KRQE News 13 that Ariana lived at the home with her mother and that “other” older kids were in and out of the home often. Police haven’t said how those kids may be related, just that they were older, but KRQE learned those other minors are now living with family members who aren’t tied to the case.