Mother Accused Of Burning 4-Year-Old Daughter To Death - Opposing Views

Mother Accused Of Burning 4-Year-Old Daughter To Death

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Disturbing details on the death of a 4-year-old Michigan girl have been released after she was burned to death by her mother.

The medical examiner's office is calling Gabrielle Barrett's death the "worst child death case" in their 27 years of experience, the Detroit Free Press reported. The 4-year-old was burned so badly that her big toe fell off, and authorities found melted skin in a bathtub.

"Gabrielle had burns all over her body and bruising to her entire body," the medical examiner's report stated. Police found her unresponsive in the bathroom on Jan. 1. She was also in cardiac arrest.

Gabrielle was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival. Her death was ruled a homicide as the medical examiner's office found evidence of several traumatic injuries.

The victim's mother, Candice Diaz, 24, said Gabrielle ran her own bath on Dec. 31, which caused the burns on her skin. The mother told police her daughter wanted to take another bath the next day.

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"The mother claimed she ran Gabrielle's bath and placed Gabrielle into the tub after she filled the tub halfway," court documents state. "The mother then claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to the kitchen to make pancakes."

Diaz said she later found her daughter submerged in water up to her nose. She said she pulled her out of the bathtub, and that Gabrielle vomited. The mother called her boyfriend, Brad Fields, 28, for help.

"According to the mother, Gabrielle continued to vomit, and Fields attempted to provide CPR," court documents stated.

Authorities found cocaine in Diaz's home. Both she and Fields are now facing charges of felony murder, second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and torture.

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"Both ... have severe mental illnesses for which they admit they are not treating," court documents said.

Diaz said she had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Fields also reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and schizoaffective disorder.

Diaz and and Fields are prohibited from having any contact with Gabrielle. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has also launched a petition to have the victim's 1-year-old half-sister removed from the home due to "improper supervision and physical abuse resulting in a child death."

Diaz and Fields will appear in court again on Jan. 25 for another hearing.

Gabrielle's father, Kyle Barrett, is not facing any charges in the 4-year-old's death. He said he had no knowledge of the abuse that was taking place.

"She didn't have to pass the way she did but I hope we get justice for her really soon," Kyle said, reports WJBK.  "I know we may not have a lot of information at all, but, it just hurts."

Sources: Detroit Free Press, WJBK / Featured Image: Sean Davis/Flickr / Embedded Images: Leah Barret and Sumpter Township Police Department via Detroit Free Press

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