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APD searches bank records in Martens case

Michelle Martens, Fabian Gonzales, and Jessica Kelley (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In late May, less than two months before the start of the first of three trials in the killing of 10-year-old Victoria Martens, detectives with the Albuquerque Police Department searched the bank and debit card records of one of the defendants, saying they were looking for “evidence of conspiracy or planning related to the murder of (Victoria) or the subsequent clean-up of the crime scene.”

They received those records Thursday, according to the search warrant, but it is unclear what the records showed.

Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, 37, her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 33, and his cousin, Jessica Kelley, 33, are all charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor, murder, child abuse and several other charges in the case. Police say Victoria was raped and strangled and her body dismembered and left burning in a bathtub.

Victoria Martens

Michelle Martens’ trial is scheduled to start in early July. Gonzales’ trial is set for October, and Kelley’s next January.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed in 2nd Judicial District Court, when officers took Kelley into custody at the scene of the crime the morning of Aug. 24, 2016, Gonzales’ “Star Wars” wallet fell out of her bra. It was collected and tagged into evidence and has been held in inmate storage at the county jail ever since.

Now detectives say the contents of that wallet, namely a Bank of America Mastercard, may hold clues about what the three suspects were doing around the time Victoria was killed.

According to the affidavit, investigators noticed a “great deal of clean-up” throughout the apartment, especially the carpet in one of the bedrooms, noting that it “would have taken a considerable amount of time and effort.”

However, the detective wrote in the affidavit, cellphone records show that Martens, Kelley and Gonzales were in the apartment throughout the evening and into the morning before they were arrested. They said cleaning products were found under the sink but no obvious containers, or empty containers, of carpet cleaning products were in the apartment.

“Reviewing banking and credit/debit card records could assist with identifying any relevant purchases and the location of these purchases,” the detective wrote in the affidavit.

Attorneys for Gonzales and Kelley did not return calls requesting comment, but Martens’ attorney, Gary Mitchell, said he’s not surprised the District Attorney’s Office searched the bank records.

“The DA has worked hard to look at every possible piece of evidence they could to properly analyze the case,” he said.

Asked whether there is evidence the crime was planned in advance, Mitchell said he is aware of additional information but cannot comment about it at this time.

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