It was in early morning darkness that officers scrambled to sort out the chaos at an Albuquerque apartment complex where a couple had reportedly been attacked, the woman bleeding from a head injury and the man with a black eye and wearing blood-stained shorts. The woman told officers her 10-year-old daughter was still inside apartment number 808 from which they had escaped. What the officers didn't know was that the child was already dead, her battered and dismembered body partially wrapped in a blanket and set ablaze. With the fire alarm blaring, they busted in the front door and searched the smoke-filled apartment for Victoria Martens. In the bathroom, the real crime began to come into focus, the AP reports. Investigators took into custody the girl's mother, her boyfriend, and his cousin. The community was left struggling to understand how a blossoming elementary school student who loved swimming and gymnastics could have been the target of such violence.
Details of what New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and law enforcement officials described as an unspeakable crime emerged in a criminal complaint made public Thursday. Police said Victoria was injected with methamphetamine, sexually assaulted, strangled, and stabbed before being dismembered Wednesday—her 10th birthday. 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 also face charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Martens told police she met Gonzales online about a month ago and that he drugged the girl so he could calm her down and have sex with her, the complaint says. Per KOB, Martens says Gonzales then strangled the girl and Kelley stabbed her in the chest. (Read more murder stories.)