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Candles, flowers and stuffed animals mark the memorial for a 10-year-old girl, who New Mexico police said was brutally murdered. Three people arrested in the case include her own mother.
Axar.az reports citing CNN, Victoria Martens had just started fourth grade at an Albuquerque elementary school and celebrated her 10th birthday Tuesday. On Wednesday, she was killed in what police described as a "horrific" crime.
Friends and family honored the victim during a vigil Thursday, with one person saying Victoria Martens will always be remembered by her smile.
On Sunday, a birthday party is planned in honor of the little girl. A Facebook page titled Princess Victoria's Heavenly Birthday is asking people to show up at an Albuquerque park wearing purple -- Victoria's favorite color. So far, more than 2,000 people say they are attending.
Albuquerque Police identified the suspects in her killing as Victoria's mother, Michelle Martens, her mother's boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales and Gonzales' cousin, Jessica Kelley.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by CNN, officers arrived to discover two adults with minor injuries and saw a third adult attempt to flee the family apartment by jumping off a balcony.
When police entered the apartment, it was filled with smoke and they discovered the body of Victoria Martens partially wrapped in a burning blanket, inside a bath tub, police say.
According to the complaint, the child had no pulse, her left leg was almost completely cut off and both arms were missing. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The child's mother, Michelle Martens, told police the young girl was given methamphetamine "to calm her down" and that Fabian Gonzales had sex with her, according to the complaint.
Martens told police Gonzales choked her daughter to death. Gonzales denied any involvement in the killing, telling police it was Kelley, who he identified as his cousin, who stabbed and dismembered the young girl.
Kelley was recently released from prison and was staying with Martens at the time of the slaying, Martens told police. CNN affiliate KOAT says both Kelley and Gonzales have extensive criminal records.
The mother apparently had a traffic citation in the past, according to the affiliate.
Martens was charged in court Thursday with kidnapping and child abuse resulting in death. Gonzales faces the same charges as well as child rape.
Kelley, who had been hospitalized with foot injury, appeared in court Saturday. She was charged with kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death and child rape.
During Kelley's court appearance, Judge Chris Schultz said "the crimes ... display a depth of depravity that is unfathomable to me."
All three suspects are being held on $1 million bond.
2017.08.01 / 17:18