—Albuquerque police are releasing new details in what they are calling one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen.
Police said 35-year-old Michelle Martens and her boyfriend, 31-year-old Fabian Gonzales confessed to police Wednesday that they injected Martens’ 10-year-old daughter with methamphetamines “to make her calm down so they could do what they wanted with the little girl.”
Police said the young girl was sexually assaulted by Gonzales and his cousin, 31-year-old Jessica Kelley. After the assault police said the girl was either stabbed and strangled to death.
“What happened to this little girl is… Horrific. It’s one of the worst things I’ve read in my entire life,” Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier said in a news conference Wednesday night.
Tixier added that from his conversation with detectives Martens did not show any remorse.
“I can’t speak to what this mother was planning for her child other than the horrific events that happened to this child. I would find it hard to believe that she was planning a birthday party for this child,” Tixier said.
Kelley has refused to talk to police so far, but is currently in the hospital recovering from injuries she likely sustained while trying to flee the scene, Tixier said.
Court records show Kelley has a long criminal history and has pleaded guilty to charges of battery against a household member in 2007 and DWI in 2010.
She also pleaded no contest to charges of assaulting a police officer in 2007 and shoplifting in 2009.
Police said Martens is facing kidnapping charges along with Gonzales. But Gonzales’ charges don’t stop there. He and Kelley will be charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor, child abuse with great bodily harm or death, tampering with evidence and several other charges.
Community in shock
Neighbors are still in shock and are unable to process the entire incident.
“It hurts me because I love kids, someone so young does not deserve to be murdered, let alone brutally murdered,” neighbor Ajaisha Bradford said.
A close family friend, Laura Bobbs, said Wednesday they were supposed to celebrate the little girl’s birthday after school.
Parents across Albuquerque are grappling with what to tell their kids, especially Bobbs, whose two
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“They cried and the first thing they asked me was, ‘Why was God not protecting her?'” Bobbs said. “And I didn’t know what to say.”
“I am hurting so much right now,” she said.
She and the girls were supposed to celebrate their friend’s 10th birthday, which was Tuesday.
But instead of balloons and presents, crime scene tape surrounded her apartment as investigators went in and out to canvas what they called a gruesome scene.
Bobbs said telling her granddaughters what happened was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. She said, other parents are probably struggling, too.
“How are they going to explain to their children that she’s not going to be there tomorrow?” asked Bobbs.
“We were going to do mannies and pedis and have cake. She told me on the phone last night, she said ‘Auntie I’m turning 10 so don’t buy me no toys!’”
Bobbs said she got a phone call she will never forget, to come to the apartment complex as quickly as possible. The little girl she loves and adores was gone.
While police have not released the name of the young girl, Albuquerque Public Schools confirmed the 10-year-old was a student at Petroglyph Elementary.
Parents there were in disbelief Wednesday.
“Could be a friend of my daughter’s, gone just like that,” Raymond Yau said.
Bobbs said she’ll help her grandkids through this tragedy by reminding them of the good times.
“Remembering all the smiles she gave us, the laughter that she gave us, the funny things she used to do,” she said.
And her advice to every parent out there: “Hug them, protect them,” Bobbs said.
APS says grief counselors will be available to students at the school as soon as police tell them it’s OK to release the girl’s name.
The Children, Youth, and Families Department tells us it’s also doing its own investigation after police called them to the crime scene.
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