ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The mother of a 10-year-old New Mexico girl who was found dead and dismembered told police she looked for men online and at work to sexually assault her daughter, according to search warrants obtained by a newspaper.
Michelle Martens told police that she had set up encounters with at least three men before the girl was drugged, raped and killed last month, the Albuquerque Journal reported late Tuesday.
The single mother told investigators she didn’t set up the sexual assaults for the money but did it because she enjoyed watching, according to the warrants. It’s unclear how long she had been arranging meetings before Victoria Martens’ death or if police have identified any of those men.
Police found the girl’s dismembered body inside the apartment she shared with her mother on the day she was expected to celebrate her 10th birthday. The slaying ignited outcry and vigils.
Michelle Martens, Fabian Gonzales, and Jessica Kelley — a cousin of Gonzales’ — have been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sex penetration of child under 13. Victoria was stabbed and strangled.
Martens’ attorney, Mark Earnest, did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
Martens, 35, told investigators that one of the men she solicited was a co-worker. Two others she met online, including Gonzales, 31. He was to be the last.
Martens told police she used the dating website Plenty of Fish to look for men to sexually assault Victoria.
Her statement to police is included in nearly a dozen search warrants obtained by the Journal. Investigators sought DNA evidence from the suspects, as well as multiple electronic devices and a camcorder they believed may have been used for sexual exploitation of children.
Investigators are working with federal agencies to determine whether Martens will face federal charges on allegations online activity, Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier said.
WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.