Mother charged with manslaughter in infant son's death

DANVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - On Tuesday, Yell County prosecutors upgraded charges for a 21-year-old mother who deputies found laying in a ditch last month while her child and husband died in the woods.

Brooke Floyd is charged with manslaughter in the death of her 10-month-old son Harper. The affidavit tells a story of the Floyds driving Harper into the woods, both of them high on methamphetamine and terrified by hallucinations of people chasing and attacking them.

"Brooke is one of the sweetest people you would ever meet she loved her baby," said Kimberly Smith, a friend of Floyd's mother who has know Brooke her entire life. "I know she didn't do this she didn't have anything to do with this."

Authorities found Harper's body on July 29th in the Ouachita National Forest after a five-day search. Autopsy results say the he died of exposure and abandonment.

"She's clearly upset, she's unhappy that this came, she knew this was a possibility but all in all she's getting a little rested after last week and looking forward to fighting these charges," said Floyd's attorney Bill James. "Manslaughter is recklessly causing the death, there's nothing in the affidavit that indicates that she did anything to the child… The jury's going to have to look at it and decide if the choices she made that warrant responsibility for the death of her son."

Searchers found the body of Floyd's husband Brian about a tenth-of-a-mile from where they found Harper's body. The cause of his death is still under investigation.

"We've got to figure out what happened and you've got a small child that's died and that's always very difficult," added James. "Anytime you have a child that's died everybody wants somebody to pay for it, and often times that will entrap people that may not have done anything or may not have done anything to cause the death."

Brooke Floyd turned herself in around 3 p.m. Tuesday and was released through an agreement with the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. James has already filed the paperwork for her to plead "not guilty", which means she will not have to be in court Thursday when a judge will likely set a pre-trial date.

"She's tired, she's worn out, she's lost her son, she's lost her husband but she's doing better," said James. "She's got strong family support that's behind her and helping her and they're keeping her at home, she's with her mother and her father and they're taking care of her."


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