Birthday Memorial Planned for Girl Cops Say Was Brutally Raped, Murdered as Mother Watched
A community plans to honor a New Mexico girl who was gruesomely murdered last week and found dismembered just a day after her birthday.
The remains of Victoria Martens were found wrapped in a burning towel and dumped in a bathtub Wednesday after police believe her mother's boyfriend injected her with meth, raped her and killed her while the mother watched.
Victoria turned 10 on Tuesday and Sunday's celebration in Albuquerque is intended to give her the birthday she deserved.
"This sweet angel was looking forward to celebrating her birthday, so that's what we're going to do," the Facebook invitation for the event reads.
Attendees of the event, dubbed Princess Victoria's Heavenly Birthday, have been asked to wear purple, Victoria's favorite color.
Victoria's gruesome death has so rocked Albuquerque that the city's mayor, Richard Berry, plans to personally address the memorial.
Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, 35, allegedly stood by as her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 31, and his cousin Jessica Kelley, 31, injected the child with methamphetamine “to calm her down” so they could both sexually assault her, according to a criminal complaint
"We are heartbroken as we mourn the murder of beautiful 10yr old Victoria Martens. Give your kids an extra hug tonight
#justiceForVictoria," the mayor tweeted after her death.
A vigil is also planned at the public event, which has attracted donations from more than a dozen local businesses. Attendees have been asked to bring stuffed animals, which will be donated to Victoria's classmates.
Over 2,000 people had committed to attend the event as of Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, three people have been arrested and held on $1 million bonds in connection with Victoria's death.
Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, 35, allegedly stood by as her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 31, and his cousin Jessica Kelley, 31, injected the child with methamphetamine “to calm her down” so they could both sexually assault her, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Albuquerque Journal.
After the pair assaulted Victoria, Gonzales allegedly strangled her and Kelley stabbed her, the criminal complaint said.
The pair then allegedly dismembered the child’s body.
Officers with the Albuquerque Police Department found her burning remains half-wrapped in a blanket in the bathtub of Martens’ apartment near Golf Course and Irving at about 4:30 a.m., authorities said.
Other parts of Victoria’s body were left in a plastic bag in a laundry hamper. Her bedroom floor was stained with blood.