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An Ohio Woman Left Her Infant Home Alone and Went on Vacation in Puerto Rico. Now, She's Spending Life Behind Bars.

Ohio Woman Guilty of Murder After Leaving Baby For 8 Days to Vacation
Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office; Unsplash

Kristel Candelario left her baby alone while she went to Puerto Rico on vacation.

Mar. 19 2024, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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A woman in Ohio will spend the rest of her life behind bars after pleading guilty to aggravated murder after she left her 16-month-old daughter alone for eight days while she went on vacation and the child starved to death.

According to WKYC, 31-year-old Kristel Candelario told investigators she went to Puerto Rico and Detroit on vacation.

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She left her home on June 8, 2023, and returned eight days later, on June 16, 2023, authorities said. Upon her return, Candelario found the baby unresponsive.

According to investigators, the little girl was “extremely dehydrated.” They also observed the baby’s play bin was packed with “soiled blankets and a bottom liner, saturated with urine and feces.”

Neighbors said they would have gladly watched the child if they had been asked, WSAZ reported.

Neighbor Suleym Gonzalez told the news outlet that Candelario wasn’t the typical caretaker of her daughter, and the grandmother usually cared for the baby.

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The baby's mother "always wanted to go out and just left her with her grandma and all that,” Gonzalez said, according to WSAZ.

Candelario was arrested and charged with murder. She was arraigned on June 20, 2023.

On Feb. 22, 2024, Candelario pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and child endangerment as part of a plea deal dropping two additional murder counts and a felonious assault charge, the New York Post reported.

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Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said, “This case is one of those truly unimaginable cases that will stick with me for many years to come."

“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,” O’Malley continued, adding, “This conviction today, is the first step towards justice for Jailyn.”

On March 18, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Brendan J. Sheehan sentenced Candelario to serve a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in the 2023 death of her daughter, according to The Washington Post.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Sheehan said he was sentencing Candelario to die in a prison, just like she condemned her daughter. However, the judge noted, the prison “will at least feed you and give you liquids, which you denied her.”

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