Woman accused of manslaughter
She was on meth, left son, husband in woods, affidavit says
Posted: August 6, 2014 at 4:54 a.m.
Methamphetamine-induced hallucinations led a Greenwood woman to abandon her infant son and husband in the Ouachita Mountains, an affidavit filed Tuesday in Yell County Circuit Court said.
Yell County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Tatum II charged Brooke Floyd, 21, with manslaughter in the death of her 10-month-old son, Harper Alexander Floyd, whose body was found last week. The body of her husband, Brian Floyd, 33, was also found near their truck, which was parked on a remote road in the Ouachita National Forest.
Preliminary autopsy results indicate Harper Floyd's cause of death was "exposure and abandonment." Toxicology tests are expected to determine Brian Floyd's cause of death.
Tatum declined to comment further.
Brooke Floyd's attorney, Bill James, said he was disappointed about the new charge and that there is no evidence that she endangered her child.
She was scheduled to appear in Danville Circuit Court this coming Thursday but waived her arraignment, James said.
She has already entered a plea of innocent and has requested a trial.
Brooke Floyd surrendered to the Yell County sheriff's office Criminal Investigation Division in Danville on Tuesday afternoon, according to a news release.
She was released on a $50,000 bond that she posted last week, when she was arrested on charges of hindering an investigation and endangering the welfare of a minor.
The sheriff's office had no further comment.
According to the most recent affidavit issued for her arrest -- the first description of events released in the case -- U.S. Forest Service personnel found Brooke Floyd scratched, bruised and barefoot in a ditch in the Ouachita National Forest on June 25.
A widespread ground and air search for her missing son and husband ensued, which also involved the Arkansas State Police, the FBI and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
According to the affidavit, Brooke Floyd told officers that she left her son with her husband so she could seek out help because people were chasing her family. They had fled to the forest the previous day to escape, she said, but the people followed them and attacked them with guns and knives.
When officers suggested that Brooke Floyd had hallucinated the attackers and that her husband was the one hitting her, she said Brian Floyd would not hurt her. The next day, when she appeared more lucid, she said that both of them were hallucinating and that they had been fighting each other, the affidavit said.
Floyd said she and her husband had snorted "speed," or methamphetamine, "the day before all this happened," according to the affidavit.
Brian Floyd had also not slept for three days before they went to the woods, Brooke Floyd told authorities.
He had been taken into custody on July 20 on a misdemeanor count of communicating a false alarm after calling 911 repeatedly with complaints that people were on his roof and watching him. Family members said he also bought a gun -- which Brooke Floyd said he fired in the woods -- and continued to hallucinate.
Brooke Floyd also told authorities that she had taken Klonopin, a medication that treats seizures, panic disorders and anxiety. That drug was recently prescribed to Brian Floyd, and an empty bottle of it was found in a backpack near his body. The affidavit does not state whether she took his medication or her own.
While recounting the events to officers, Brooke Floyd noted on several occasions that Harper had cried, whimpered and struggled to breathe. She said they had taken diapers, baby food and formula with them, but the affidavit does not note that she fed the baby while they were in the woods.
Authorities located Harper lying facedown around 2 p.m. on July 29. Brian Floyd was found lying on his back about 0.13 mile southeast of where his son was found.
In Arkansas, manslaughter, a Class D felony, is defined as recklessly causing the death of another person.
"I think she did what she had to do under the circumstances," James said. "I don't think that fact [that she was on drugs] shows that she did anything to her child or husband. That may end up being more of a distraction than part of the case."
State Desk on 08/06/2014