Disturbing details of abuse in 4-year-old death, couple claims mental illness

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Producer note: Some of the abuse investigation details are disturbing.

Disturbing details are emerging about the abuse a 4-year-old from Sumpter Township endured before dying New Year's Day.

Gabrielle Renea Barrett's injuries were described in graphic detail in a Michigan Child Protective Proceedings petition. Her mother Candice Diaz and the mother's boyfriend Brad Fields are accused of killing Gabby, who was found inside their Sumpter Township mobile home burned and beaten.

Diaz and Fields had been on the run and were tracked down and arrested by U.S. Marshals and Lowndes County Sheriff Deputies in Georgia near the Florida state line Tuesday. Police body camera video was released Wednesday (watch in video player above) of their arrest, on I-75. 

Authorities pinged their cell phones to track their location before pulling them over and arrested them without incident.

Both Fields and Diaz have criminal histories, and according to documents, both told investigators they suffer from multiple mental illness conditions.

Diaz said she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fields said he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Fields is listed as being non-compliant with his medication and not in counseling for his condition.

The Child Protective Services documents detail the crime scene where the girl was found. A Washtenaw County Medical Examiner told police that it was the "worst child death case" seen in 27 years. The petition was to take parental custody away for Gabby's 1-year-old half-sister. 

According to documents, Gabrielle was found with burns on body including her legs from the knee down, her buttocks, posterior to both elbows and bruising all over. A medical examination found that she had been physically abused prior to her death. 

Diaz told police that Gabrielle ran her own bath water on Dec. 31, 2017 causing to burn her skin. The mother said she did not seek medical attention and claimed the girl wanted to take another bath the next day.

Police say Diaz claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to make pancakes in the kitchen. She said she returned to find Gabrielle submerged up to her nose in the water. She said she pulled Gabrielle out of the tub who then vomited and called Brad Fields to the bathroom for help.

Diaz said Gabrielle continued to vomit and Fields attempted to provide CPR. 

The report says that "notably, Fields has refused to provide CPS with an explanation of how Gabrielle suffered such extensive injuries."

Michigan State Police found a large amount of melted skin in the bathtub drain. One detective said that Gabrielle had been burned so badly that her large toe fell off her body.