CBS News reports a couple has been captured in connection with the torture and murder of a 4-year-old girl, who was found New Year’s Day with “severe burns.” Candice Diaz, 24, the mother of the girl, and her boyfriend Brad Fields, 28, were found and arrested in Georgia while driving in Macon. The murder occurred in Michigan and the couple was arrested by U.S. Marshals.
After the child’s autopsy determined her death was a homicide, a nationwide manhunt was launched for the couple.
Michigan police responded to a 911 call on New Year’s Day morning regarding an unresponsive child. CPR was administered by the family, and officers noted severe burns on her arms and legs, says CBS. After being transported to the hospital, the girl was pronounced dead.
There were also several injuries found during the autopsy that indicated abuse. An arrest warrant was issued for Diaz and Fields, alleging torture, child abuse and murder, according to CBS Detroit. Once it was determined the couple likely fled the area, federal agents became involved with the search and released photos of their vehicle.
The couple is currently being held near the Florida border in Lowndes County, Georgia.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the child had been burned so badly that her toe fell off, and melted skin was found in the drain of the tub.
Court records state that both Diaz and Fields have severe mental illnesses that they have not been treating. Diaz is bipolar, has anxiety and depression, and suffers from PTSD. Fields has a schizoaffective disorder, anxiety and agoraphobia, and PTSD.
According to a court record, Diaz told authorities that the child was placed in the tub for a bath and she found her submerged up to her nose after leaving her to make food. She stated she pulled her out and the child vomited. The day prior, the child was allowed to run her own bath and it was too hot, but care was not sought for her burns.
During a search of the residence, cocaine was discovered. Authorities are now petitioning the court to have the couple’s one-year-old child removed from the home.
*Photo credit CBS Interactive Inc.