Mother Who Abandoned Toddler to Go on 10-Day Vacation Gets Life Sentence

( – A mother in Ohio was handed a life sentence without parole after she pleaded guilty to murdering her 16-month-old baby by leaving her alone in a playpen for 10 days while she went on vacation.

On Monday, March 18th, 32-year-old Kristel Candelario said during her sentencing hearing that “God and [her] daughter,” Jailyn Candelario, have forgiven her for what she did.

The 16-month-old girl was discovered unresponsive by her mother inside their home in Cleveland in June 2023 after Candelario left the baby in a playpen by herself for 10 days to travel to Detroit, Michigan, and then Puerto Rico. Jailyn died of dehydration and starvation.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Candelario left her baby “alone and attended” on June 6th, 2023, came home almost two weeks later, on June 16th, to find Jailyn dead, and is the one who contacted the Cleveland Police Department (CPD). The police responded to the scene along with the fire department and pronounced the little girl deceased.

After an investigation by the CPD Homicide Unit, the truth soon came out. According to their report, the child was “extremely dehydrated” when she died and her body was lying on a liner “in a Pack-N-Play” playpen “soiled with urine and feces.”

Judge Brendan Sheehan of the County Common Pleas Court handed down the sentencing with a stern delivery, telling Candelario that just as she “didn’t let Jailyn out of… confinement,” she will now spend the rest of her life “in a cell without freedom” with the only different being that prison will “at least feed” Candelario and provide her with water.

Michael O’Malley, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor who handled the case against Candelario, said after the sentencing that the mother’s actions represent “a new low in parental care,” noting that Candelario went on vacation and left her child “to starve to death” in a playpen.

Candelario was charged with aggravated murder and child endangerment and pleaded guilty to both counts. She claims to have struggled with mental health problems and depression and said that she has prayed every day for forgiveness since her daughter’s death.

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