ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – City and county officials have called a special meeting to address what led to the brutal slaying of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl in the hopes of identifying opportunities for the community to better protect children.
Officials say they will seek funding for more social workers, and exploring solutions for drug treatment, mental health services and child abuse prevention.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley and Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Pena organized the meeting.
It comes nearly a week after police say they found the dismembered body of Victoria Martens in her mother's apartment on Aug. 24 — the day the girl's godmother said she and relatives planned to celebrate the girl's 10th birthday.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of Victoria, who authorities say was injected with methamphatamine and raped before she was killed.
The girl's mother Michelle Martens, the mother's boyfriend Fabian Gonzales and his cousin Jessica Kelley face charges of child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. They are being held on $1 million bonds.
Authorities said Gonzales was convicted of child endangerment last year after his arrest for beating a woman while she was driving a car with a child inside. He was supposed to be monitored by a probation officer and given drug tests but wasn't because corrections officials say they didn't receive a judge's order mandating the supervised probation.
Court records show Kelley had a prior conviction stemming from an incident while she was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in September 2012. She pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit criminal sexual penetration.
The girl's mother told police Kelley had been released from jail just days before Victoria's death and was staying at her apartment.
Martens has no online record of an arrest in New Mexico.
Police said in court documents that officers responding to a pre-dawn disturbance found the girl's body in a bathtub of an Albuquerque apartment that she shared with her mother. In a criminal complaint, police said Michelle Martens told investigators that Gonzales and Kelley drugged Victoria before the mother's boyfriend raped her as she watched.
Victoria was strangled and stabbed, police said. The results of an autopsy are pending.
The details of Victoria's death have shocked New Mexico public officials and residents. Vigils have been held across the state.