The 6-year-old was found dead inside a Rio Rancho home about two weeks ago.
Joseph Romeo said when he got the call, he fell to his knees and cried.
“We weren't even on the phone for two minutes. When we hung up, we didn't believe it," Romeo said.
Romeo lives in Florida and said he didn’t get to spend much time with Ariana because she lived so far away. However, he said when they were together, their time was precious.
"She always had a smile on her face, always," Romeo said.
Romeo said he still doesn’t know how his daughter died.
"What's taking so long, really? I mean, there were seven people in the house and not a single person knows what happened? It makes no sense at all," he said.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Ariana was found with injuries that suggested she had been sexually abused.
Officials said they are waiting on autopsy results before considering charges.
In the meantime, Ariana's father wants her body returned to Florida, so she can be laid to rest, surrounded by her siblings and family.
"Right now, I actually have a lawyer in New Mexico that's writing up some papers to hopefully get her over here," Romeo said.
Updated: August 24, 2018 07:29 AM
Created: August 23, 2018 06:40 PM
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