The grandparents of Victoria Martens, the 10-year-old girl brutally murdered in her mother’s home in August 2016, will move ahead with their civil case against the city of Albuquerque and its police department.
The grandparents of the murdered girl first filed a lawsuit against the city in August 2017, a year after Victoria’s partially dismembered body was found burning in a bathtub in her mother’s apartment.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Victoria’s mother Michelle Martens initially claimed that she was home with her boyfriend Fabian Gonzalez and Jessica Kelly while they raped and murdered the little girl, but cell phone and Google records found that Michelle and Fabian were not at the apartment at the time the little girl was murdered.
Authorities said in June that they now believe another, unidentified man was in the apartment with Jessica Kelly when Victoria was murdered.
KOAT reports that Victoria’s grandparents’ lawsuit against the city is asking for money and reforms to police officer training programs. The grandparents claim that police knew a boyfriend of Michelle Martens had tried to kiss Victoria five months before she was killed, and that the department failed to follow up on that tip, possibly missing an opportunity to intervene on Victoria’s behalf. The grandparents reportedly believe that the police department’s inaction contributed to the little girl’s death.
According to the KOAT report, a judge had tossed portions of the civil suit against the city and police, but some of the claims will move forward.
The Albuquerque Police Department has reportedly stated that an attempted kiss is not a crime. Further, court records obtained by KOAT show that Victoria’s grandmother also knew about the attempted kiss but she was not the one who shared a tip with police. The boyfriend involved with the incident is not believed to be Fabian Gonzalez, as police reportedly stated Michelle Martens had broken up with that man by the time police had the information.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Michelle Martens met Fabian Gonzalez on a dating app only a month before Victoria’s murder.