Robbie Romero: Teen Claims to be Missing Santa Fe Boy

PHOTO: Robbie Romero was last seen on his way to a friends home in the Bellemah area of Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 7, 2000.
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A teenager has told police in Santa Fe, N.M., that he is Robbie Romero, a boy who vanished more than 10 years ago at the age of seven.

Police spoke with the 18-year-old Wednesday night following a confidential phone call alerting them that someone was claiming to be Romero, according to detective Lt. Luis Carlos.

The teen told police he was indeed Robbie Romero and agreed to give a swab of his saliva for DNA testing.

Robbie Romero disappeared in June of 2000 as he was walking home from a friend's house. The case was treated as a missing person case and a homicide case, though a body was never found.

Police said that the man they spoke with Wednesday told them certain details that were significant before deciding he didn't want to talk anymore and walking away.

Carlos said that police do have some identification documents that match the man they spoke with, though Carlos would not say if those documents identify him as Robbie Romero.

"I'm going to have to remain stoic on that because I don't want to give the family a sense of hope or not. We can't speculate. We are cops and we have to know the facts first," Carlos said.

ABC News affililate KOAT reports that the man told police had been living in a neighboring state but had been in Santa Fe for years. He has not been questioned about who took him, according to the report.

Police contacted the mother of the missing boy, Evelyn Romero, and told her of the events. Carlos said she was reserved and did not want to get her hopes up at the news. Police have also heard reports that the man has met with Evelyn Romero, who was unsure whether or not it was her son.

Police are monitoring the current whereabouts of the man in case the DNA test comes back positive, in which case they will consider the case closed. The DNA testing was sent to multiple labs in Santa Fe to expedite the typically month-long testing process, police said.

Romero's older brother, Ronnie, was long held as a person of interest in the case, though he was never charged. He died of a heroin overdose in prison on unrelated charges in 2009.

In addition to Ronnie Romero's death, Robbie's father Rudy has also died since Robbie disappeared. Evelyn Romero has publicly criticized the Santa Fe police department for their mishandling of the case and their accusations of Ronnie.

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