The Latest: Candlelight vigil for murdered New Mexico girl

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Posted: Aug 25, 2016 10:06 PM
The Latest: Candlelight vigil for murdered New Mexico girl

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the slaying of a 10-year-old New Mexico girl (all times local):

8 p.m.

Dozens of people have gathered outside a northwest Albuquerque apartment complex for a candlelight vigil for a murdered young girl.

The complex where Victoria Martens lived has opened up the property to mourners who wanted to pay their respects Thursday evening.

A memorial outside the apartment complex continues to grow with numerous balloons, toys, stuffed animals, candles and flowers placed there by family, friends and neighbors.

Victoria turned 10 on Tuesday, and the memorial is her belated birthday gift.

Authorities say the girl was drugged, raped and strangled before her dismembered body was found early Wednesday.

The girl's mother, her boyfriend and the man's female cousin are accused in the grisly killing.

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6 p.m.

One of three suspects accused in the grisly death of a 10-year-old girl in Albuquerque has been previously convicted of a felony rape charge.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that 31-year-old Jessica Kelley has a criminal history dating back to 2003.

Court records show that Kelley acted as a lookout while a woman allegedly raped another inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in September 2012.

The newspaper says Kelley pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit criminal sexual penetration and was sentenced to three years in prison minus nearly a year for time served.

Kelley remains hospitalized and is expected to be booked into jail after she's released.

Authorities say Victoria Martens was drugged, raped and strangled before her dismembered body was found in an Albuquerque apartment's bathtub early Wednesday.

The girl's 35-year-old mother and her 31-year-old boyfriend have been arrested in the killing and each are being held on $1 million bond.

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2:45 p.m.

Albuquerque Public Schools have identified a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl police say was drugged, raped and strangled.

The district said Thursday that Victoria Martens was a student at Petroglyph Elementary School on Albuquerque's west side. In a statement, the district says school officials were having hard time wrapping their heads around a case that even has drawn a strong reaction from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Police say the 10-year-old Albuquerque girl was injected with methamphetamine, raped, strangled and stabbed before the suspects tried to dismember her body and burn it. The mother's boyfriend and his cousin are suspects.

The girl's mother, 35-year-old Michelle Martens and her 31-year-old boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, were both ordered held Thursday on a $1 million bond each.

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2:15 p.m.

The mother of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl police say was drugged, raped, strangled and stabbed has been ordered held on $1 million bond.

Albuquerque judge ordered 35-year-old Michelle Martens held Thursday during her first court appearance following the brutal death of his daughter.

Her 31-year-old boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, also was ordered held on $1 million bond. Neither entered a plea.

Both are facing a number of charges in connection with the girl's death.

A criminal complaint filed Thursday says Martens told officers that Gonzales gave her daughter methamphetamine before raping her. Police say officers found the girl's dismembered body Wednesday morning after receiving a disturbance call at an Albuquerque apartment.

The complaint says the girl's body was in a bathtub, partially wrapped in a burning blanket.

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1:30 p.m.

People who knew a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl police say was drugged, raped, strangled and stabbed say the child was well-liked and friendly.

Christine Zamora says she taught the girl gymnastics every Saturday and that she came to class happy.

Zamora said in an interview Thursday she was stunned to learn the girl's mother was arrested Wednesday in connection with her daughter's death.

The girl's mother, 35-year-old Michelle Martens, her 31-year-old boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, and his 31-year-old cousin, Jessica Kelley, face charges.

Neighbor Johnny Madrid says her daughter and the girl who was killed swam last Saturday together in the pool of the apartment complex.

She says residents did not know much about the girl's mother.

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12:15 p.m.

A makeshift shrine has been set up for a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who police say was drugged, raped, strangled and stabbed before her body was dismembered and wrapped in blanket set on fire.

Family and friends created the memorial under a tree outside the girl's apartment complex a day after police say an officer responding to a disturbance call found the girl's body in a bathroom.

Relatives and friends left flowers, balloons and stuffed animals under a tree.

The girl's mother, 35-year-old Michelle Martens, her 31-year-old boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, and his 31-year-old cousin, Jessica Kelley, face charges in connection with the girl's death.

Apartment complex resident John Madrid says he often saw the girl at the pool and that she was excited about the start of the new school year. He says residents are shocked by her death and hope the suspects face justice.

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10:10 a.m.

Details of what New Mexico's governor and other law enforcement officials have described as an unspeakable crime that ended in a girl's death emerged Thursday in a criminal complaint filed against three suspects, which include the child's mother.

Police say the 10-year-old Albuquerque girl was drugged, raped, strangled and stabbed before the suspects allegedly tried to dismember her body and burn it. The mother's boyfriend and his cousin are also suspects.

The charges against the three include child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. The boyfriend also is charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor.

Officers were called to the family's apartment on the city's west side before dawn Wednesday. They found the girl's remains under a burning blanket.

The investigation continued Thursday as a makeshift memorial of balloons, stuffed animals and candles begin to form under a tree at the apartment complex.

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1:35 a.m.

Albuquerque police are charging three people in the death of a 10-year-old girl — a killing called "unspeakable" by the state's governor.

Officer Tanner Tixier said in a news release Wednesday night that charges are being filed against 35-year-old Michelle Martens, 31-year-old Fabian Gonzales, and 31-year-old Jessica Kelley.

The release didn't elaborate, but the Albuquerque Journal reported that Tixier said the child was injected with methamphetamine, sexually assaulted and then stabbed or strangled to death.

The paper described Martens as the child's mother and Gonzales as the mother's boyfriend.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says what happened to the little girl "is unspeakable and justice should come down like a hammer" on whoever is responsible.

Officers found the child after being sent to an apartment before dawn Wednesday, responding to a disturbance call.