SUMPTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – New information has been revealed after the disturbing death of a 4-year-old girl from Sumpter Township.
According to the medical examiner, Gabrielle Barrett was burned and beaten to death. Her mother and her mother's boyfriend are charged with felony murder and first-degree torture.
Candice Diaz, 24, and Brad Fields, 28, were arrested Tuesday evening near Lake Park, Georgia, where officials said they deserve capital punishment.
"It's just hard for her being gone," Gabrielle's father, Kyle Barrett, said. "She in the right place, where God needs her. But it's hard."
Barrett was surrounded by family Tuesday as they grieved the murder and torture of his daughter.
"It's not supposed to be this way," Barrett said.
Gabrielle lived with her mother. Police said the 4-year-old was tortured by Diaz and Fields. When officials found the 4-year-old at the mobile home park in Sumpter Township, it was determined that she had been burned and beaten to death.
"I don't understand what caused it," Barrett said. "I don't understand any of it. But do I believe Candice did it? No. Do I believe she has part of it because of Brad? Yes. I believe Candice was forced."
What role each had in the girl's death is unclear, but police said both fled the state after the murder.
"I'm glad they were caught," Barrett said. "They deserve everything they should get. They deserve torture, hard times, worse than they did to my daughter."
Gabrielle's paternal grandparents said they didn't get to see her often.
"This should have never happened to my granddaughter," Jerry Barrett said.
Whenever the grandparents wanted to visit, Diaz always had excuses, Jerry Barrett said.
"Every time we tried to get her, 'She's sick. You can't have her,'" Jerry Barrett said.
"We didn't see any signs," grandmother Deborah Barrett said. "She was always happy. It would take her awhile to warm up to us because she didn't see us often."
They said they wish they could have saved their granddaughter. The family wants to see justice, they said it might be a good thing the couple was captured in Georgia.
"If they want to fight and stay in Georgia and they get the death penalty, I'm all for it," Jerry Barrett said.