Police have charged a mother and her boyfriend with felony murder after they allegedly murdered a 4-year-old girl in what the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner called the "worst child death case in 27 years."
Candice Diaz and her boyfriend, Brad Fields, are accused of killing Diaz's daughter, Gabrielle "Gabby" Barrett. According to police, she was burned so badly that her big toe fell off and pieces of her skin were found in the bathtub drain.
“Gabrielle had burns all over her body and bruising to her entire body,” the document filed in the Lincoln Hall of Justice in Detroit said.
On New Years Day, police found Gabby unresponsive in the bathroom of the family's Michigan home. Family members were attempting to perform CPR on the badly burned girl. She was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Documents show that the child suffered burns on her legs, buttocks, and elbows. Medical examiners also found evidence multiple traumatic injuries on the girl's body, indicating ongoing child abuse.
After Gabby died, Diaz and Fields fled and alluded police until they were later captured in Georgia. According to detectives, their home was filled with animal waste, guns, and drugs.
Diaz, 24, told police that Gabby got the burns to her skin after she let the 4-year-old run her own bath water. She said she did not seek medical care and that the next day, Gabby wanted to take another bath.
"The mother claimed she ran Gabrielle's bath and placed Gabrielle into the tub after she filled the tub halfway," the petition said. "The mother then claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to the kitchen to make pancakes."
Diaz said when she went back to the bathroom, Gabby was underwater up to her nose. She pulled her out of the tub, and Gabby vomited.
Brad came to help and performed CPR on the girl, who continued to vomit. Though "problems" with the girl started around 10 a.m., Diaz didn't call the police for 36 minutes.
According to a petition to terminate the parental rights of Gabby's 1-year-old half sister, both Diaz and Fields have severe mental illnesses they are currently not treating.
Diaz said she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Fields, 28, said he's been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Along with felony murder, they were both charged with second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse, and torture.
Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).