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Bombshell: New Mexico prosecutors drop charges against suspect in brutal killing of Victoria Martens

June 30, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Bombshell: New Mexico prosecutors drop charges against suspect in brutal killing of Victoria Martens

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Bombshell: New Mexico prosecutors drop charges against suspects in Victoria Martens murder case

Prosecutors in New Mexico have revealed shocking new developments in the gruesome homicide case of Victoria Martens, the 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who was allegedly drugged, sexually assaulted, murdered, dismembered, and her remains set on fire back in August 2016.

In a surprising announcement, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said he was dropping dismissing the most severe charges against Fabian Gonzales in the killing of Victoria Martens in what is considered one of the worst cases of child abuse in New Mexico history.

The announcement comes on the same day the girl’s mother, Michelle Martens, entered a guilty plea to a single count of child abuse resulting in death, KOAT reported.

Additionally, more than a dozen charges including murder were also dropped against the mother.

Michelle Martens (above) pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of child abuse resulting in death

Torrez said Michelle Martens gave inconsistent and false statements to investigators immediately after her daughter’s killing.

Martens told police that she had witnessed Gonzales, her boyfriend, engage in sex with her daughter the night the girl’s dismembered remains were found wrapped in a blanket that was set on fire in an apartment bathroom.

According to a 2016 criminal complaint, the mother also told police that Gonzales drugged her daughter to calm her down while his cousin Jessica Kelley — a third suspect charged in the case — covered the girl’s mouth with her hand and stabbed her in the stomach.

The girl’s mother at the time told investigators that Fabian Gonzales (left) and his cousin Jessica Kelley (right) were guilty of the gruesome murder

However, in a surprising twist, Torrez revealed that authorities are now searching for a fourth suspect in the case.

The district attorney said Friday that forensic investigators determined that DNA found on the victim’s body belonged to another male suspect – not Gonzales.

Torrez said federal and local investigators are working to identify the male whose DNA was found on the girl’s body.

Authorities say the “male is someway connected to the girl’s mother, Gonzales, and Kelley.”

Torrez also ruled out any possibility the DNA may have been the result of crime scene contamination by any of officers who responded to the crime scene.

Victoria Martens, seen above in Facebook photos, was killed at around 5 pm on August 23, the day after her 10th birthday

Furthermore, Torrez said cellphone data, which was corroborated by witness statements indicating Gonzales and Michelle Martens were not home at the time of the murder.

Instead, evidence suggests the child was left in the care of Kelley, who has a prior conviction for felony rape.

“Everyone in the immediate aftermath of this crime focused on the statement Michelle Martens made and they took it at face value,” Torrez said. “The pieces of this puzzle just didn’t fit.”

In addition, toxicology tests results released in early 2017 showed the girl had no drugs her system, only alcohol.

The disturbing case garnered national attention.

On the night of his arrest, Gonzales had vehemently denied having any involvement in the death of Victoria Martens to a swarm of reporters.

Gonzales has remained in custody while awaiting trial. He still faces charges related to the case including tampering with evidence and child abuse resulting in death.

Kelley is still awaiting trial on first-degree murder, sexual assault, and other charges. She has pleaded not guilty.

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