- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Hundreds of mourners - most of them wearing purple - converged on an Albuquerque church to remember a 10-year-old girl who was raped and brutally murdered in her home.

Many family, friends and strangers wore Victoria Martens‘ favorite color to honor her memory - two months after details of the girl’s slaying led to heartache across the state.

Gov. Susana Martinez was among those who spoke to the packed Cooper Pointe Church.

“She is no longer in pain,” said Martinez, according to KOB-TV. “She’s in God’s arms and she’s living in peace.” The slaying ignited outcry, and helped renew a call from Martinez to reinstate the death penalty.

Motorcycle officers escorted a white hearse to the venue shortly before the 11 a.m. ceremony. There were also several bikers, some carrying purple flags.

The hearse was more symbolic since it will be months before the girl’s remains will be returned to the family, according to the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gordon Eden told mourners, “In times of tragedy we see how the community comes together.”

Laura Bobbs, the girl’s godmother, said the family was not treating the ceremony as a funeral.

Police found Victoria Martens‘ dismembered body in August inside the apartment she shared with her mother after officers responded to a pre-dawn call about a disturbance on the day the girl was supposed to celebrate her 10th birthday.

Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, the mother’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s cousin all are charged with murder in the girl’s death. They also have been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sex penetration of a child under 13 in connection with the girl’s killing.

Michelle Martens told police she looked for men online and at work to sexually assault her daughter, according to search warrants in the case. The documents showed Michelle Martens told police that she had set up encounters with at least three men before the girl was drugged, raped and killed.

Authorities said officers found Victoria’s remains wrapped in a blanket and set on fire in a bathtub the night of the crime.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide