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Victoria showed signs of earlier sex abuse

Victoria Martens, 10. (Courtesy of Martens family)

Victoria Martens, 10. (Courtesy of Martens family)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An autopsy report made public Monday in the killing of 10-year-old Victoria Martens confirms that the cause of death was strangulation and that she had been sexually abused prior to her rape and murder.

The report said she had the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which forensic pathologists cite as evidence that she suffered sexual abuse before the night of her death on Aug. 23.

Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, one of three people facing murder and other charges in the case, told investigators that before that fatal night she had looked for men online to have sex with her daughter. It’s unclear whether detectives have identified any of those men, and they have not made any more arrests.

Martens also claimed her daughter died from consuming methamphetamine, and police believed she’d given the girl meth to relax her. But toxicology reports released with the autopsy show she had no methamphetamine in her system. Instead, she’d apparently been given alcohol.

“In an alcohol naïve person, this level of alcohol could cause cognitive and physical impairment,” the report says.

Victoria’s dismembered body was found on fire in the bathtub of her mother’s Northwest Albuquerque apartment the morning of Aug. 24 in one of the most horrific crimes the city has seen.

Martens, 35, has been charged with murder and rape in the case, along with her boyfriend Fabian Gonzales, 32, and Gonzales’ cousin Jessica Kelley, 32. Police believe Martens watched as Gonzales raped and strangled her daughter. Gonzales and Kelley then dismembered her, according to court records previously filed in the case.

The autopsy said the dismemberment occurred after her death.

“The sharp force injuries described … showed no vital response – a finding in keeping with being inflicted post-mortem,” the report said.

There was physical evidence that she’d been raped, but no sperm was found on her, according to the autopsy.

Albuquerque police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said Monday that detectives had just received the report and were going through it.

“They’re trying to match up to their own evidence or track down new leads,” she said.

Martens, Gonzales and Kelley are in jail awaiting trial, which is scheduled for October.

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