SHAW, Miss.—The father of a 20-month-old Mississippi Delta girl who police say was stabbed and placed in a hot oven says he still struggles with his emotions over her death.
John Floyd told WREG-TV that he's been trying to understand what happened since Royalty Marie Floyd's Oct. 15 death at a home in Shaw. A preliminary autopsy found the toddler was still alive when she was placed in the oven and that she died from stab wounds and thermal injuries.
The toddler's grandmother, Carolyn Jones, is charged with first-degree murder and is jailed in Bolivar County pending $500,000 bail.
"When I was told that she was gone, I wasn't trying to hear nothing nobody else had to say," Floyd said of a phone call he received at work informing him of his daughter's death. "I was mad wanting to get revenge."
According to investigators, it wasn't until Jones' twin brother asked about the toddler that the grandmother told him she was in the oven. The brother drove to the Shaw Police Department for help, police said, and when an officer returned, the stove was sideways with a counter blocking the oven door. Royalty was still inside the hot oven.
The father said his daughter was so badly burned that she was buried after a closed-casket funeral.
"The casket, knowing that she was in it and stuff, but I can't see her," Floyd said.
Floyd said he first met Jones when the girl was born.
"She was warm and friendly. You never would've thought she would have done something like that," he said.
"But at the same time, I want to say it's really hard to predict somebody and what they will or won't do until they do it."
Floyd said after Royalty was born Jones volunteered to care for her so Royalty's mother could return to work.
"We decided not to go with a daycare," he said.
Royalty's mother declined a request for an interview.