Michigan Couple Charged With Murder in ‘Worst Child Death Case’
A Michigan couple arrested in connection with the death of their 4-year-old daughter were arraigned on murder charges on Saturday morning, WXYZ reported.
A Michigan medical examiner called the alleged murder the “worst child death case” in 27 years of practice, according to a court document obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
Candice Diaz, 24, and Brad Fields, 28, were charged with murder, torture, and child abuse. Both were denied bond.
The couple’s child, 4-year-old Gabrielle Barrett died on Jan. 1 from multiple injuries, including severe burns on her limbs. Diaz and Fields were arrested a week later in Georgia.
Both parents have a history of severe mental illness, according to the Sumpter Township Police Department.
Diaz said that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Fields said that he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Records show that the 4-year-old suffered severe burns. Her death was later ruled a homicide.
The report said that Diaz claimed the girl ran her own bath water, leading to the burns, but she didn’t seek medical care for the girl.
“The mother claimed she ran Gabrielle’s bath and placed Gabrielle into the tub after she filled the tub halfway,” a petition said. “The mother then claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to the kitchen to make pancakes.”
When Diaz returned to the bathtub, she found the girl submerged in water to her nose. “The mother said she called Brad … to the bathroom for help,” the document said. “According to the mother, Gabrielle continued to vomit, and Fields attempted to provide CPR.”
There were more “problems” with the girl at 10:05 a.m., the mother told a Sumpter Township police detective. Police were not called until about 36 minutes later.
Police found cocaine in the home when they searched it, the petition said.
The girl’s biological father, Kyle Barrett, said he had no knowledge of what happened in the household. He doesn’t face charges in the child’s death, adding that he last saw the girl in September before turning himself into police on unrelated charges after a warrant was issued for his arrest.“I got to give her a kiss and a hug and say I loved her,” he said. He got out of jail on Jan. 3.
A 2016 police report on a domestic assault call to the couple’s home revealed that the couple lived a turbulent life in a putrid and disgusting home, WXYZ reported.
Officers who responded to the May 2016 call said they arrived to find a dog shot and bleeding from its hindquarters. Once inside, they found Diaz who said that Fields punched her several times in the head and shot himself in the leg.
The inside of the house smelled foul and there was old garbage, decaying food, and dog urine inside. The officers also noticed dog feces in the children’s room and flies throughout the house.
Epoch Times reporter Jack Philipps contributed to this report.