ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) – On the day Victoria Martens was going to celebrate her 10th birthday, she was found dead in her family’s apartment by Albuquerque police officers, her dismembered remains wrapped in a burning blanket.
Details of what New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and law enforcement officials described as an unspeakable crime emerged Thursday in a criminal complaint made public and filed against the girl’s mother, her boyfriend, and his cousin. The three were taken into custody late Wednesday night.
Police say Victoria was injected with methamphetamine, sexually assaulted, strangled and stabbed before being dismembered.
A caller told a police dispatcher before dawn Wednesday that there was a disturbance in the apartment, said Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden Jr. Officers who went to the apartment complex found the gruesome crime scene.
Martinez said in a statement the abuse and killing of the girl “is unspeakable and justice should come down like a hammer.”
The girl’s mother, 35-year-old Michelle Martens, her 31-year-old boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, and his 31-year-old cousin, Jessica Kelley, face charges of child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping, and tampering with evidence.
Gonzales and Kelley have also been charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor.
Gonzales denied having anything to do with Victoria’s death as he was led out of the police station in handcuffs late Wednesday while reporters yelled questions at him. The girl’s mother said nothing as she was led out and placed into the back of a police car.
According to the criminal complaint, the mother told police Gonzales drugged the girl so he could calm her down and have sex with her.
She said Kelley held her hand over Victoria’s mouth and stabbed her in the stomach after Gonzales choked the child.
The complaint also states that the mother told investigators that Gonzales and Kelley dismembered Victoria.
One of the police officers who arrived at the apartment found the girl’s body in a bathroom, rolled up in a blanket that had been set on fire. The officer put it out.
Albuquerque school officials identified the girl Thursday afternoon, saying in a statement that “Victoria is in our thoughts and prayers as we hold our children just a little tighter on this sad day.”