Police arrived at the Michigan home on New Year’s Day to find the 4-year-old girl unresponsive.
Severe burns covered the little girl’s extremities, according to police who responded to a 911 call at the Sumpter Township, Mich., mobile home park, just before 11 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Officers and the girl’s family tried to revive her with CPR, police said, but she had to be rushed to a hospital in Ann Arbor, where she was eventually pronounced dead. On Jan. 3, a medical examiner ruled the death was a homicide.
And now, Wayne County prosecutors have accused the girl’s mother, 24-year-old Candice Diaz, and the mother’s boyfriend, 28-year-old Brad Fields, of torturing and killing the girl, local police announced Jan. 8.
Police have begun a manhunt for the couple, who are believed to be driving a black 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, with a Michigan license plate reading DTR1854.
Both have been charged with felony murder, murder in the second degree, child abuse in the first degree and torture. Fields, the mother’s boyfriend, has been charged as a habitual offender, Sumpter Township police wrote on Facebook.
The medical examiner found evidence on the girl’s body of multiple traumatic injuries, as well as signs of battered child syndrome — multiple injuries, multiple sites and multiple ages, according to local police.
It wasn’t the first time police had been at the home, Local 4 reports.
In May 2016, police were called to the residence with a report of a domestic assault and a gunman who had barricaded himself in the home, according to police records. Police stormed the house, but the man had fled. He was later arrested on domestic violence charges, Local 4 reports.
At the time, the girl’s mother told police the boyfriend was experiencing a suicidal outburst, and had assaulted her, shot a dog and shot himself, the TV station reports.
Federal law enforcement officials out of Detroit have also joined the hunt for the fugitives, WWJ reports.
If anyone has information on the couple’s whereabouts, they are asked to call the U.S. Marshal’s Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team at their 24-hour hotline, (313) 234-5656.