Hundreds of people attended an emotional memorial service over the weekend to remember Victoria Martens, the 10-year-old New Mexico girl who was brutally raped and killed two months ago, allegedly while her own mother watched.
Family, friends and the community, as well as several high-profile public figures in the state, gathered to mourn the loss of Victoria. The service was held Saturday at Copper Pointe Church, Albuquerque-area television station KOAT reported.
“When I look at her photo, I can’t help but see a sweet child radiating kindness,” New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez told the crowd through tears, according to the station.
Said state Attorney General Hector Balderas: “Just as she was looking for other children to play with, in many ways, she may be looking for ways for her and many of us community leaders to try to protect more children.”
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gordon Eden talked about the strength of the community in the wake of Victoria’s killing on Aug. 23.
“We came here together to grieve, but we came here together to support one another,” he said.
Victoria’s godmother, Laura Bobbs, told the crowd of the child’s kindness and remembered her short but impactful life.
“She knocked on my door that morning and said, ‘Excuse me my name is Victoria.’ I said, ‘Well aren’t you a cute little thing. Where’d you come from? She had little pig tails. She said, ‘I’m new in the neighborhood but do you have any kids I can play with?’”
Bobbs described falling to her knees the morning she learned of Victoria’s death.
“The first thing I asked God was will you get me through this pain?” she recalled.
One woman who lived near Victoria said she “brought a lot of life” to those in the neighborhood and at her school.
“She was always bright, and light, and full of life,” Veronica Brazas told the crowd.
Victoria was killed one day after she turned 10.
Three people have been charged in connection with the horrific crime: Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens; the mother’s boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales; and his cousin, Jessica Kelley.
CNN contributed to this story.