APD report: Officers find slain girl’s body burning in bathtub | KOB 4

APD report: Officers find slain girl’s body burning in bathtub

J.R. Oppenheim
June 29, 2018 02:04 PM

An Albuquerque Police Department report reveals horrifying details about the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl early Wednesday morning at a northwest Albuquerque apartment complex.

APD officers found the girl, identified as 10-year-old Victoria Martens, in a bathtub brutally murdered, partially wrapped in a blanket and on fire at the Arroyo Villas apartments near Irving and Golf Course, according to the police report KOB obtained Thursday.

Police have already filed charges against the girl’s mother, Michelle A. Martens, 35, and her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 31. APD intends to charge Gonzales’ cousin, 31-year-old Jessica Kelley, once she is released from a hospital.

Charges against both Martens and Gonzales are kidnapping, child abuse with great bodily harm, tampering with evidence, two counts of conspiracy, two counts of child abuse, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police also charged Gonzales with criminal sexual penetration of a minor under 15.

APD has not revealed the girl’s identity, but people close to her tell KOB she just celebrated her 10th birthday the day before she died.

“This homicide is the most gruesome act of evil I have ever seen in my career," APD Chief Gorden Eden said in a statement Thursday. "A complete disregard of human life and betrayal by a mother. So many are in need of the support and prayers of our community.”

Once officers took Martens and Gonzales into custody, they agreed to speak with them.

The criminal complaint states Gonzales and Martens had been seeing each other for roughly one month after meeting on an online internet dating website. Martens told police she and Gonzales let Kelley stay with them after she was released from prison four days earlier.

On Wednesday night, Gonzales and Martens arrived at Marten’s second-floor apartment. Police did not complete an interview with Kelley because she asked to talk with an attorney.

According to the police report, Martens said Gonzales and Kelley gave the victim methamphetamine “to calm her down so they could have sex with her.” Gonzales allegedly sexually assaulted with the victim as Kelley covered the girl’s mouth and Martens watched.

Martens reportedly told police Gonzales then killed the victim by choking her and Kelley stabbed her in the chest. Gonzales told police he was not involved in the death, saying Kelley killed her.

A representative for the Gonzales family told KOB, “I do not believe he did it. We are going to hold him accountable regardless because no one saved this little girl.”

The police report does not say when the rape and murder occurred, but Gonzales told police he and Martens fell asleep around midnight. Then around 1:40 a.m. Gonzales said Kelley woke them up and asked them if they believed in Jesus. She appeared to have something behind her back. When they replied, Kelley then hit them both with an iron, Gonzales said. Gonzales said that he and Martens then fled the apartment after the attack.

Martens had a head injury and Gonzales had a black eye and a cut over his left eye. Gonzales also had blood on his shorts. He told police he was “cleaning” himself up, the report states.

Officers tried to make contact with Kelley at the apartment where the incident happened but she bolted the door and leapt from the balcony.

Police said they inspected the apartment after the three were apprehended and saw smoke inside. They then found the girl’s lifeless body.

“It’s horrific, it’s evil, and there’s no way around it,” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said. “You can’t paint this in any other way other than this is pure evil. These are monsters who did horrible things and it happened here.”

On Thursday, judge set a $1 million cash-only bond on both Gonzales and Martens. Gonzales was already on a probation violation hold, and the judge said he poses risk to the community. Although Martens lacks a criminal history, the judge said she also is a risk to society as well as a flight risk.

Two of the three suspects have a criminal past. Martens does not have a criminal record, but Gonzales has previous convictions for domestic violence and false imprisonment.

Kelley, meanwhile, was released from prison 10 days ago, according to police. He has a criminal history dating back to 2005 that includes battery, assault on a peace officer, methamphetamine trafficking and sexually assaulting an inmate.

Attorney General Hector Balederas said he will ensure resources are available to the Albuquerque police and district attorney’s office “to secure justice for her and the community.”


J.R. Oppenheim

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