Family Crimes

Couple Charged With Torturing And Burning 4-Year-Old To Death Arraigned, Held Without Bond

They fled after allegedly killing little Gabrielle Barrett, leading to a nationwide manhunt.

The mother and boyfriend from Sumpter Township, Michigan who are accused of torturing a 4-year-old girl to death on New Year’s Day will be held behind bars without bond. According to the Detroit Free Press, that ruling was made over the weekend.

Earlier this month, Candice R. Diaz, 24, and Brad E. Fields, 28, were arrested on Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Service according to the Detroit Free Press. Both have been charged with multiple offenses including felony murder and second-degree murder.

The couple went on the run after Gabrielle Barrett was found dead inside a mobile home with severe burns on New Year’s Day. She was Diaz’s 4-year-old child. That home was allegedly full of animal feces, guns and drugs.

On Saturday, Magistrate Elizabeth DiSanto, who presided over the hearing for the couple, pointed to the fact that the two fled after a such a heinous crime as part of the reason to deny them bonds. Fields’ lawyer Timothy Wrather argued in court for a monetary bond.

"Understanding and being sensitive to the gravity of these charges and allegations, they are at this point merely allegations, and he is presumed innocent,” he stated in court.

The Washtenaw County Medical Examiner stated Diaz died from homicidal violence, according to WSAV. Gabrielle suffered  "multiple traumatic injuries" and "signs of Battered Child Syndrome (multiple injuries, multiple sites, multiple ages)” according to Syracuse.

“Gabrielle had burns all over her body and bruising to her entire body,” a document filed in the Lincoln Hall of Justice in Detroit stated.

Gabrielle's aunt, Leah Barrett, told MLive.com, "She was an overall amazing kid. She was lovable. She was sweet. She was just an outgoing kid.”

The couple is no stranger to police. Fields was once accused of attacking Diaz and shooting her dog in 2016. He also allegedly faked shooting himself. Diaz told police she didn't want to press charges at that time. Both Fields and Diaz reportedly suffer from untreated mental illness.

According to a court document, Diaz said she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety while Fields claims to have schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

[Photos: Sumpter Township Police Department, Facebook]

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