Crime

Hundreds Pay Tribute To Girl Who Was Raped And Killed (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani

"She is no longer in pain. She's in God's arms and she's living in peace," said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as she, alongside hundreds of others, paid tribute to 10-year-old Victoria Martens on Oct. 29.

On Aug. 24, Victoria's 10th birthday -- her family allegedly raped, chopped up and burned the schoolgirl in a bathtub, the Mirror reports.

Her mother Michelle Martens, 35, later confessed she and her boyfriend -- 31-year-old Fabian Gonzales and his cousin, Jessica Kelley -- gave the girl methamphetamine “to calm her down so they could have sex with her."

Martens later told police she had purposefully searched for men online to assault her daughter because she enjoyed watching.

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The murder was so brutal, even experienced detectives were shocked.

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

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The girl's death moved the entire country, with 600 people, including many from outside the community, showing up to attend Albuquerque's Copper Pointe Church memorial.

"She was such a blessing," recalled Rob Martinez, associate pastor of the Family Church, reports KOB. "Me personally, I can remember for Father's Day in 2015, she made me a Father's Day card. At her tender young age, she had a gift of making everyone feel special."

All wore purple, Victoria's favorite color, as they reminisced and said their goodbyes.

“She would often run around her grandparents' lawn and do her gymnastics," recalled Laura Bobbs, Victoria's grandmother, of the girl others agreed had a “special spark.”

At the end of the service, they released white doves into the sky to symbolize love, peace and hope -- all the things, mourners said, Victoria represented to them.

“She [Victoria] was one of God’s borrowed angels,” Bobbs said.

A judge set bail for Martens and Gonzales at $1 million cash only. While both Kelley and Gonzales have criminal records, Martens reportedly has no convictions.

Sources: Mirror, KOB / Photo credit: Mirror, Facebook via Mirror, KRQE via Mirror

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