Mother charged with manslaughter after bodies of infant, husband found in woods

Bodies of boy, father found in Yell County last month

Posted: August 5, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2014 at 4:09 p.m.

Brooke Floyd

A Greenwood woman has been charged with manslaughter after her 10-month-old son was found dead along with his father in a remote part of Yell County last month, authorities said Tuesday.

Brooke Floyd, 21, had initially been accused of hindering apprehension or prosecution and endangering the welfare of a minor after she was found July 25 in the Ouachita National Forest separated from her husband, Brian Floyd, 33, and their son, Harper.

Authorities said Brooke Floyd provided little information to assist searchers in finding the pair for more than two days before July 28, when their pickup was located in the woods. The two bodies were found the next day in the forest south of Blue Mountain Lake.

The Yell County sheriff's office said then that Brooke Floyd may face upgraded charges. On Tuesday, an arrest warrant filed in Yell County Circuit Court showed she is charged with manslaughter, a Class C Felony. A separate arrest affidavit also listed a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor, a Class D felony.

The affidavit, written by Yell County sheriff's Capt. John Foster Jr., said Harper's cause of death was found through an autopsy to be "exposure and abandonment." The manner of death was homicide, it said.

According to the affidavit, after Brooke Floyd was found barefoot in a ditch in the forest she said the family had left their Greenwood home early that morning "when they became afraid of people around their house trying to harm them."

She was "rambling and incoherent" when she described people following the family's car and trying to kill them, talking at times of trading gunfire with the pursuers, "people attacking them with knives" and Harper stopping breathing but starting again, the affidavit said.

"She did not show any emotion and did not appear to be frantic or even openly concerned about the baby's well-being," Foster noted.

After police said it sounded like she was hallucinating and asked if she had taken any drugs, Brooke Floyd acknowledged taking Klonopin and methamphetamine, the affidavit said.

Her accounts of what happened "wildly varied" that night and the next day before she spoke with investigators again on July 28, telling them the couple was on methamphetamine and "she knows now that much of what she had described about their having been chased and attacked was not real and that in reality when she believed someone was attacking her and the baby it was actually Brian," Foster wrote.

"She said that she believed it at the time and she indicated that Brian was hallucinating as well and she seemed to be indicating that they would tell each other what they were seeing or experiencing as they were hallucinating and then the other would believe they also saw or experienced the same thing," he added.

Brooke Floyd went on to tell investigators the vehicle had been driven off the road and the family was together for the night outside it. There were "repeated violent altercations" that she later realized "was really just them fighting each other," the affidavit said.

She said at one point Harper was "breathing weird" and Brian Floyd "told her that he was going to just put Harper out of his misery" before she talked him out of it, Foster wrote.

The next morning, Brooke Floyd decided to seek help.

"She said that she didn't take the baby because he was already scratched up badly from the altercation during the night and she didn't want him to get hurt anymore," Foster wrote.

Brooke Floyd turned herself in shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Yell County sheriff's office, but she remained free on the $50,000 bond she posted July 30, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

She is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Thursday in Yell County Circuit Court.

See Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.