Ohio mother who left 16-month-old daughter alone in playpen for 10 days so she could go on vacation pleads guilty to murder

News & Politics

An Ohio mother has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder after leaving her 16-month-old daughter in a filthy playpen at home for 10 days while she went on a vacation.

Kristel Candelario, 32, pleaded guilty on Thursday to aggravated murder and child endangerment. She faces life in prison after her daughter was found dead in her Cleveland home.

Candelario reportedly left her 16-month-old daughter alone at home in June 2023 as she departed for a vacation in Detroit, Michigan, and Puerto Rico. Candelario returned home from vacation on June 16, 2023 – 10 days after she left her baby alone at home.

Prosecutors said Candelario found her baby unresponsive at the home and contacted police.

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The baby, Jailyn Candelario, was already dead when police arrived, and the toddler was allegedly found “extremely dehydrated at the time of death.”

An autopsy conducted by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that baby Jailyn had died of starvation and severe dehydration, according to KDKA News.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement, “Jailyn was discovered in a Pack-N-Play pen on a liner soiled with urine and feces with soiled blankets.”

“This case is one of those truly unimaginable cases that will stick with me for many years to come,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “As prosecutors, it is our job to represent the victims and today we spoke on behalf of 16-month-old Jailyn — who is no longer with us — due to the selfish decisions her mother made. This conviction today, is the first step towards justice for Jailyn.”

A neighbor told News 5 Cleveland that this was not the first time that the mother left the baby alone in the house.

“We keep telling her not to leave her by herself, not just me, my friend across the street too, but she always leave her by herself,” the neighbor said.

Another neighbor added, “There were so many people here; she could have knocked on any of our doors and asked us to take Jailyn.”

Candelario’s attorney, Patrick Milligan, told Cleveland.com, “This was a real emotional day for our client. She has taken responsibility for what she did, and she is remorseful. There will be mitigating issues that come up at sentencing that we will address. Hopefully, people will realize that she is not the monster that some see her as.”

The attorney claimed Candelario suffered from mental health issues but did not provide specific details.

Candelario had no prior felony convictions.

The Cleveland mother’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 18.

Cleveland mom pleads guilty to aggravated murder in 16-month-old daughter’s deathwww.youtube.com

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