‘Worst child death case in 27 years’: Shocking details emerge about couple who burned, tortured little girl, 4

As a couple remains behinds bars for the death a 4-year-old little girl, new details continue to emerge in the case, so shocking that it was called the “worst child death case” in a Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s 27 years of practice.

Detroit Free Press reports that 4-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Barrett, was abused horrifically, allegedly at the hands of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. The latest instance of alleged abuse, which happened on New Year’s Day, proved fatal for the young girl.

Gabby’s mother, Candice Diaz, 24, and Diaz’ boyfriend, Brad Fields, 28, who were recently arrested in Georgia after fleeing their Sumpter Township home, are accused of burning the little girls buttocks, elbows, and legs after the child was put in scalding hot bath water.

RELATED Reading: Couple accused of burning, torturing 4-year-old girl to death captured in Georgia after a week on the run

According to court documents, Diaz claimed that she allowed Gabby to run her own bath water on Dec. 31, which ended up causing severe burns. Diaz never took Gabby in for medical treatment, and the little girl, according to her mother, took another bath the next day. Diaz claimed when she checked in on Gabby, she was submerged under the bath water. Diaz said as soon as she pulled Gabby out, the little girl starting vomiting.

Gabrielle Renea Barrett 07/03/2013 – 01/01/2018#justiceforgabbyThank you to everyone that has donated to the GoFundMe page. The Barrett family has made enough for little Gabby's funeral. The viewing will be on Saturday 13th at 2-9pm. For Gabrielle’s Funeral arrangements, it will be Sunday the 14th at 3pm.

Posted by Shalin Marie on Sunday, January 7, 2018


“The mother claimed she ran Gabrielle’s bath and placed Gabrielle into the tub after she filled the tub halfway,” the petition read, according to the Free Press. “The mother then claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to the kitchen to make pancakes…..The mother said she called Brad to the bathroom for help. According to the mother, Gabrielle continued to vomit, and Fields attempted to provide CPR.”

Diaz reportedly waited 36 minutes after the incident to contact police. After arrival, authorities rushed her to Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. In addition to severe burns to Gabby’s body, authorities found “evidence of multiple traumatic injuries and signs of Battered Child Syndrome (multiple injuries, multiple sites, multiple stages).”

“Both [suspects] have severe mental illnesses for which they admit they are not treating,” the document continued.

Court documents also indicated that Gabby was burned so badly that her “big toe fell off” and parts of her skin were found in the drain. Additional injuries found on Gabby suggested that this wasn’t the first time she’d been hurt, according to The Statesman.

Police reported finding guns and drugs in the home, which was reportedly filled with animal feces and urine.

Both suspects are facing charges of felony murder, second-degree murder, torture, and first-degree child abuse.

Meanwhile, Gabby’s biological father, Jerry Barrett, who was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help pay for medical and funeral expenses for the child.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Gabby Barrett/Handout]