A mother and her boyfriend from Sumpter Township, Michigan are accused of torturing a 4-year-old girl to death on New Year’s Day.
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. It is unclear if they have a lawyer at this time that can speak on their behalves.
The couple was 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.
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.”
Barrett also expressed relief that Gabrielle’s mother and Fields were finally in custody.
"It's nice to get some closure with this."
After several days of being at large, Diaz and Fields were arrested. Little information has been released about their capture. It is unclear if Fields is Gabrielle’s father.
Diaz allegedly told police that Gabrielle ran her own bath water on New Year's Eve. The mother blamed the bath water for the burns to the child's body, according to USA Today.
"The mother claimed she ran Gabrielle's bath and placed Gabrielle into the tub after she filled the tub halfway," a police petition states. "The mother then claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to the kitchen to make pancakes."
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.
[Photos: Sumpter Township Police Department, Facebook]
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