Just last week we shared the story of 24-year-old Candice Renea Diaz and her boyfriend, 28-year old Brad Edward Fields. Both were allegedly involved in the abuse and eventual death of Diaz’s 4-year-old daughter, Gabby, and had fled the state after charges were filed. They were later found and arrested in Georgia, where they have since waived extradition, and are now waiting to be transported back to Michigan.
But since the story broke, other, heartbreaking details have been revealed about Gabby’s life and her mother’s childhood. According to court records obtained by the Detroit Free Press a few days ago, Diaz herself suffered burns as a child, that left her traumatized and scarred. The court documents, filed in 2004, reveal that Diaz’s mother, Roina Diaz, left her in the care of her alcoholic grandmother.
Candice Diaz was badly burned when she was a little girl!
Although the records don’t provide any specifics about the fire, they do reveal that both the mother and the grandmother had been jailed as a result of injuries Diaz sustained during her childhood. Also, court documentation from Wayne County Circuit Court shows that Diaz’s mother, Roina, and her father, Timothy Mullins, later had their parental rights terminated.
Julie Speer, one of Diaz’s cousins who lives in Washington DC and has spoken to her recently, says she remembers the fire from her own childhood. Diaz, she says, had burns all over her body. “That fire damaged her physically and mentally!” she told the Detroit Free Press in an interview. Diaz had several surgeries as a result, and also suffered terrible nightmares in the wake of the fire.
Diaz was the victim of extreme neglect and abuse as a child!
Court records from the state of Kentucky where Diaz grew up, show that her mother and father served time in jail while their child protective services hearing was ongoing. Both parents were accused of neglecting her, and she was placed into the foster system. Eventually Diaz was adopted by a relative who raised her. Although Diaz’s dad, Mullins did initially contest the adoption, he later withdrew his objection.
With regard to Gabby, Diaz’s daughter, the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner is said to have told one of the detectives investigating the case, that this is the “worst child death case” in 27 years of work. Court documents state that Gabby suffered burns on her legs, buttocks and elbows. Her burns were apparently so bad that investigators found melted skin in the bathtub drain, and one of the little girl’s big toes fell off.
Diaz and Fields are expected to return to Michigan to face Child Abuse and Murder charges. It will be approximately two to three weeks before they return from Georgia, where they are currently being held. They are both facing charges of Felony Murder, Second Degree Murder, First Degree Child Abuse and Torture.