Macomb County parents return to court in Christmas Day murder of 18-month-old

Evidence of manufacturing narcotics found in parents' home

Antonio Floyd and Shantanice Barksdale are scheduled to be in court for a preliminary examination. (WDIV)

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - Two Macomb County parents charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ava Floyd, an 18-month-old baby, were in court Thursday for a preliminary examination.

During the January arraignment, a judge denied bond for Antonio Floyd and his children’s mother, Shantanice Barksdale.

On Christmas morning, Floyd, 28, and Barksdale, 27, were at their home in Clinton Township, along with their three children, officials said.

That afternoon, they took the children to their grandmother's home in Warren. A short time later, Ava Floyd stopped breathing, according to authorities.

Police said the toddler was taken to St. John Macomb Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 3:31 p.m. No signs of trauma or abuse were observed by the hospital staff.

The medical examiner’s office notified Warren police that the baby had an extraordinary level of the narcotic fentanyl in her system at the time of death, according to officials.

On Jan. 10, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at the grandmother’s home in Warren and the parents’ home in Clinton Township. Police said they found evidence of manufacturing and distributing narcotics inside the home of Floyd and Barksdale.

An investigation led authorities to believe that the couple was involved in drug trafficking and was using the Clinton Township home to process and package fentanyl for distribution, police said.

"The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic," Macomb County Attorney Eric Smith said. "However, to see an infant experience such a tragic death on Christmas morning as a result of ingesting a large quantity of her parents’ fentanyl is truly gut-wrenching. This type of criminal behavior will be met with the full weight of this prosecutor's office."

The couple was charged with second-degree murder, delivering and manufacturing controlled substances, manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and felony firearms violations.

Floyd, a convicted felon, is also charged with additional counts of felon in possession of a weapon and a felony firearms violation.

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