Let us not forget Victoria Martens, every year on August 23 and August 24. We made her one of The 82 murdered children of Unit 1012 and Janusz Korczak’s 190+ children where we will not forget her. Let us remember how she lived on this earth.
10 years old
August 23, 2006 - August 24, 2016
Victoria was a sweet girl who loved the color purple, and enjoyed gymnastics, swimming, and going to church. She and her 8-year-old brother lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their mother, Michelle Martens.
Victoria had just celebrated her 10th birthday the day before she passed away. Her grandparents spoke to her on the phone the evening of her birthday, and she told them about her party and the cupcakes that she got to eat. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
The next morning, police were called to the apartment complex where Victoria lived. The caller reported that there was a "disturbance". Police arrived at the apartment to find Victoria's mother, Michelle Martens; Michelle's boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales; and Gonzales's cousin, Jessica Kelley. Kelley attempted to flee the apartment by jumping off of the balcony, but one of the officers caught her. Another officer went inside the apartment and found that it was filled with smoke. He then discovered Victoria's body in a bathtub. Her body was wrapped in a burning blanket. Her arms were both missing, and one of her legs was almost completely cut off. It was very clear that Victoria's death had been a result of homicide. Victoria's mother, Michelle, confessed that she and the other two adults (her boyfriend and the boyfriend's cousin) injected Victoria with methamphetamine in order to "calm her down" so that they could "do what they wanted with her." She then said that her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, raped her daughter and choked her to death, and then Kelley stabbed and dismembered her. Both Gonzales and Kelley have an extensive criminal record. Michelle apparently only had a traffic citation, and Victoria's grandparents said that they are struggling to understand how Michelle allowed this to happen to her daughter. Soon, it was revealed that not only had Michelle allowed her boyfriend to rape Victoria that day, but she had also arranged for men to come to the apartment and sexually assault her daughter numerous times before. On one occasion, she brought over a man who was a coworker of hers. She also used a website to find men to invite over. Michelle even admitted that she had not even been doing this for money, but did it for her own "sexual gratification"...she ENJOYED watching people sexually assault her daughter. It is believed that Victoria's brother was often abused as well, but he had been staying with his father on the day that Victoria was murdered, and therefore was not harmed and did not witness his sister's murder.
Victoria's death shocked and outraged the community. People who had known Victoria, her brother, and her mother could not believe that Michelle would have done this to her own daughter. They say that Michelle appeared to be a hard-working and loving mother to her two children, and that the children never spoke of or showed any signs of being abused. However, one report does say that staff members at the children's school alerted the Children, Youth and Families department with concerns about the family on two different occasions. Victoria's maternal grandparents, who helped take care of the children while Michelle worked, say that Victoria and her brother appeared to be happy children and that they never saw any signs of what had been going on. They say that they will always love their daughter, but that she deserves whatever punishment she ends up receiving for what she did to their granddaughter.
Michelle is currently charged with kidnapping and child abuse resulting in death. Gonzales and Kelley face those same charges, and are also being charged with child rape. They are scheduled to go on trial in 2018-2019.
(August 23, 2006 to August 24, 2016)