New Mexico Mom Confessed to Watching Daughter's Rape Before Her Death, Police Say
Newly released police documents, obtained by local news outlets, detail a New Mexico mom's alleged role in her daughter's rape and dismemberment
Warning: Some of the following descriptions and language are graphic.
Newly released police documents, obtained by PEOPLE, detail a New Mexico mother’s role in her 10-year-old daughter’s heinous rape and dismemberment: What she initially told detectives had happened, how her story changed and how she eventually confessed to being a witness.
After finally cooperating with authorities, the woman admitted to detectives that she “let” other people have sex with her daughter while she watched, because it brought her pleasure, and that she had dinner with the man who allegedly killed the girl soon after the crime, according to the documents obtained by PEOPLE.
The woman’s attorney tells PEOPLE to avoid jumping to conclusions until the defense has presented its case.
But the historically violent crime, in which, police say the little girl was drugged, raped, killed and dismembered, has already sent shock waves through the local community, even drawing comment from the governor.
The Night Of
According to the documents, which include police interview transcripts, Michelle Martens first went over to a neighbor’s house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early morning hours of Aug. 24.
She was covered in blood and saying — loudly — that someone had killed her daughter, Victoria.
“I was woken up in my sleep by screaming and yelling,” a neighbor told a 911 operator that day, according to the documents.
Martens and her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, were asking for help early that morning and claiming Gonzales’ cousin Jessica Kelley had killed Victoria and beaten them with an iron rod, according to the documents.
When Albuquerque police arrived on the scene, they became suspicious of Martens who, during questioning, told officers a series of shifting stories, according to the documents.
After hours of interrogation, Martens broke down and told officers what really happened the night of her daughter’s rape and killing.
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‘I Should Have Stopped It’
First, Martens claimed she and Gonzales were attacked by Kelley in the middle of the night, according to the documents.
“Jessica comes into our bedroom and asks me if I believe in God,” she told police, according to the interview transcript. “She kept hitting me, hitting me, hitting me, punching.”
Martens said she had no idea that Victoria was hurt and while she was running to get help, Kelley shouted, “Your daughter’s dead.”
But Martens then changed her story, the documents show, claiming she and Gonzales left Victoria at home with Kelley, a convicted rapist who had been staying with them for a week, on Aug. 23.
She told police that when she came home, she found Victoria dead after she had taken meth left on a table in the living room. Gonzales and Kelley decided to try and dispose of Victoria’s body, Marten told police, threatening to kill her if she said anything.
However, police told Martens they knew the truth of Victoria’s death because Gonzales was in the other room confessing (even though he wasn’t). Under this pretense, Martens, after hours of questioning, changed her story again — this time cooperating with authorities.
Martens said she watched Gonzales and Kelley sexually assault Victoria at least three times in the days leading up to her killing. Martens said she believed Gonzales had been sexually assaulting Victoria for a month before her death, while she was at work.
“I let them do it,” Martens said, before she admitted to enjoying watching men have sex with her daughter. (According to previous reports Martens allegedly told authorities she sought men out for just this purpose.)
On the day of her daughter’s death, Martens told police, she saw Gonzales and Kelley give meth to Victoria so they could rape her, saying, “It calms her down.”
Martens admitted to watching the pair rape Victoria as she begged for them to stop. She told police she saw Kelley stab the girl, at which point Kelley and Gonzales began cutting Victoria’s arms, according to the documents.
Martens said she had sex with Gonzales 20 minutes after Victoria was raped and killed. Then they began to clean up the home and make dinner.
She said all of this happened before 5 p.m., hours before she ran to her neighbor’s home asking for help.
At one point she told police, of the rape, “I should have stopped it.”
Charges and What Comes Next
Investigators are looking into whether Martens videotaped or photographed any of the sexual assaults, according to the documents.
Martens named two other men who also had sex with Victoria prior to her death, though police have not commented on possible charges against them, if any.
Police interviewed Gonzales for eight hours, according to the time stamps in the interview transcripts. Gonzales’ first story, like Martens, painted him as the victim of an attack, according to the documents. Hours later, however, he claimed he witnessed the crime and blamed Kelley for killing and sexually assaulting Victoria.
Martens has been charged with kidnapping and child abuse resulting in death while Gonzales faces the same charges as well as child rape. Kelley asked for a lawyer and has been charged with kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death and child rape.
All three have pleaded not guilty to their charges, according to officials.
Martens’ attorney, Gary Mitchell, tells PEOPLE the public shouldn’t be quick to judge.
“Until you hear from the defense side, which will be months, I would not tempt to jump to too many conclusions,” he says, adding, “There’s a professional way to do this through our justice system, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
While Kelley’s attorney could not be reached for comment, Tom Clark, who is representing Gonzales, says he is waiting for more evidence to be released.
“We haven’t received DNA evidence,” Clark tells PEOPLE. “The allegations against my client are based on what [Martens] said, so the DNA evidence is going to be key.
“If there is no biological evidence that connects [Gonzales] to the crime, the state’s going to have a real hard time.”
Meanwhile, Albuquerque mourns.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez called Victoria’s abuse “unspeakable.” She said, “Justice should come down like a hammer.”