The horrifying murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens left Albuquerque, New Mexico — and the nation — horrified and sickened last week, and perhaps the most shocking aspect of the unthinkable crime was the alleged role of the little girl’s own mother, Michelle Martens, a woman with no criminal history,and who had given friends and relatives no clue that anything was wrong with her family, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Victoria Martens, described by neighbors as a “happy and outgoing” child, was ready to celebrate her 10th birthday last Wednesday, August 24, when according to police accounts, Fabian Gonzales, 31, and his cousin Jessica Kelley, also 31, drugged, raped, stabbed, and strangled her — and then dismembered and burned the girl’s body to cover up their depraved acts.
— David Trender (@IceTrends) August 27, 2016
The whole time, police say 35-year-old mom of two Michelle Martens stood by and watched the horror unfold before her eyes — doing nothing. And when they arrested her and questioned her in the savage rape and murder of her own daughter, detectives say that Martens showed no remorse at all.
But why? What happened to the woman described by neighbors as a hard-working single mom, that she could participate in the torture and murder of her own daughter?
The father of Martens’ younger child, a boy, blames the two ex-convicts who, according to police, carried out the crime.
“She’s never been a monster, she got mixed up with the worst kind of people and that contributed to a downward spiral from what we can tell,” said Jason Oetting, in a statement released through his lawyer.
Gonzales was reportedly Michelle Martens’ boyfriend, but one whom she had been dating for only about one month after meeting him online. He was supposed to be on supervised probation from a conviction last year on a charge of beating a previous girlfriend, who was the mother of his own child.
But the New Mexico Department of Corrections never got the memo, and Gonzales was on the loose in Albuquerque, ignored by probation officers and law enforcement.
His cousin, Jessica Kelley, was recently released from prison and had an earlier conviction for participating in the rape of another woman. Michelle Martens reportedly allowed Kelley to live in her home as well.
But law enforcement and child protective officials in New Mexico said that they had no record of complaints regarding Michelle Martens, or any possible abuse taking place in her home.
Neighbor Laura Bobbs, who lived in the same apartment complex as Michelle and Victoria Martens and has known the mom and daughter for the past five years, told the AP that neither she nor the slain girl’s grandparents ever spotted anything out of the ordinary in the family.
They said that Michelle was employed at a local grocery store and that she often took Victoria to a local swimming pool where the mom and daughter were frequently seen swimming.
But neither the neighbor nor the grandparents were aware that the mom was dating Fabien Gonzales — despite seeing Michelle on a daily basis. Though police allege that Gonzales first forcibly injected Victoria Martens with methamphetamine to subdue her before sexually penetrating her, Bobbs told the AP that neither she nor the grandparents ever detected signs that Michelle was involved with drugs or drug users.
Victoria’s half-brother’s dad: ‘Michelle Martens was not a monster’ https://t.co/MxiOGlZXGb pic.twitter.com/9Kmencdh56
— KOAT.com (@KOATLiveUpdates) August 27, 2016
Gonzales, who was found by police with blood covering his apparel when cops showed up at the apartment on Wednesday, denied having anything to do with the killing of Victoria Martens — blaming his cousin Jessica Kelley instead.
The Victoria Martens rape-murder is the latest in a string of horrifying murders of children in New Mexico over the past few years. An Albuquerque woman was sentenced to 40 years in May for fatally kicking her 9-year-old son, while an 11-year-old girl, also in May, was raped and left to die in a remote area by a stranger.
Victoria Martens: Red-Tape Screw-Up Led To 10-Year-Old’s Sickening Rape-Murder, New Report Says — Suspect On Supervised Probation
Veronica Aguilar: L.A. Mom Starved 11-Year-Old Son To Death, Horrifying Murder Charge Says — Boy Stuffed In Closet
Jessica Smith: Mom Who Drowned Her 2-Year-Old Girl Avoids Death Penalty, Also Slashed Teen Daughter’s Throat
Victoria Martens Murder: A Retired Detective Profiles Accused Killers And How The System Failed Her
Alyssa Garcia: Mom, 27, And Teen Lover Burned Her 4-Year-Old Boy’s Body To Conceal Horrifying Abuse
Rachel Bostian: Friend Helped 5-Year-Old’s Mom Beat Boy To Death Because Child Was Hungry, Charges Say, Enters Guilty Plea
Victoria Martens Tragedy: Family Of Slain 10-Year-Old Speaks Out
Tami Huntsman: Mom Charged In Horrifying Torture, Murder Of Two Small Children Will Face Death Penalty
Also in the past year, a New Mexico woman was sentenced to 21 years for smothering her infant to death to stop the baby’s crying, and a man was sentenced to 63 years for the rape of his own infant daughter.
But even with the parade of nauseating crimes against children in her state, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a prosecutor for 25 years before entering politics, said the murder of Victoria Martens was the single worst child killing case she had ever seen.
[Images via Michelle Martens Facebook]