ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on concerns on New Mexico’s child welfare system (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says not a day goes by that she doesn’t think of Baby Brianna, a 5-month-old who died in 2002 after being sexually assaulted and suffering skull fractures and numerous other injuries.

Martinez was a district attorney in Las Cruces at the time of the infant’s death. She prosecuted the child’s mother, father and an uncle.

The mother, Stephanie Rene Lopez, was released from prison Wednesday on good behavior after serving less than half of her sentence.

The governor said she had sought the full measure of justice at the time but that the laws on the books were too weak.

Public outcry over the case helped lead to a change in state law that provides for life imprisonment — a mandatory 30 years in prison — for child abuse resulting in death.

Martinez said Wednesday she will continue to push for state legislators to expand the law to cover every child, regardless of their age.


11:58 a.m.

In the nearly 15 years since New Mexico was rocked by one of the worst cases of child abuse the state had ever seen, no shortage of children have shared fates similar to Baby Brianna.

And despite reforms of the state’s child welfare system, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says there still are unacceptable gaps that need to be addressed.

Balderas raised his concerns in a letter sent this week to Sen. Michael Padilla, an Albuquerque Democrat who’s asking for a review in the wake of the latest deadly case — the slaying of 10-year-old Victoria Martens.

Children, Youth and Families Secretary Monique Jacobson said Wednesday that many reforms have been put in place over the last 18 months.

Baby Brianna died in 2002 after being sexually assaulted and suffering multiple injuries, including two skull fractures.


11:46 a.m.

In the nearly 15 years since New Mexico was rocked by one of the worst cases of child abuse the state had ever seen, no shortage of children have shared fates similar to Baby Brianna.

And despite reforms of the state’s child welfare system, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says there still are unacceptable gaps that need to be addressed.

Balderas raised his concerns in a letter sent this week to Sen. Michael Padilla, an Albuquerque Democrat who’s asking for a review in the wake of the latest deadly case — the slaying of 10-year-old Victoria Martens.

Children, Youth and Families Secretary Monique Jacobson said Wednesday that many reforms have been put in place over the last 18 months and the department’s mission depends on continuously looking for ways to improve the system.