New details have emerged in the tragic death of a 4-year-old Michigan girl whose torturous death has been called the "worst child death case” the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner has seen.
4-year-old Gabrielle Barrett, of Sumpter Township, was found unresponsive in the mobile home where she lived with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend, and the couple’s 1-year-old child. After police arrived on the scene, Gabrielle was transported to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, reported the Detroit Free Press.
Gabrielle’s mother, Candice Diaz, and the mother’s boyfriend, Brad Fields, have been charged with felony murder, second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and torture.
In a court-filed petition, demanding the 1-year-old child of Diaz and Fields be removed from their care, details of Barrett’s death and physical abuse were cited.
“Gabrielle had burns all over her body and bruising to her entire body,” the document said.
According to the record, the child was burned so badly in the bathtub that her big toe fell off and police found melted skin in the drain.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wanted to remove Gabrielle’s 1-year-old half-sister from the home because of “improper supervision and physical abuse resulting in a child death,” according to the petition filed on Jan. 3.
According to the petition, Diaz, 24, says she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Fields, 28, said he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia, which is a type of anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
When speaking with authorities, Diaz said Gabrielle ran her own bath water on Dec. 31, causing burns to her skin. Diaz said Gabrielle wanted to take another bath the next day.
"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."
The mother said when she returned to the bathroom, Gabrielle was under water and needed CPR, yet she did not call 911 until 36 minutes later.
While searching the home, police discovered cocaine, the petition said.
Kyle Barrett, Gabrielle's father, said he had no knowledge of any abuse Gabrielle suffered while in the care of Diaz and Fields. He faces no charges in connection with Gabrielle's death.
(Photo: Sumpter Township Police Department)