Mom Admits to Leaving Child Alone to Die While She Vacationed

An Ohio woman, aged 32, is facing a potential life sentence after admitting to the aggravated murder and child endangerment of her 16-month-old daughter. Kristel A. Candelario left her toddler alone at home, resulting in the child’s death due to starvation and dehydration, while she vacationed in Puerto Rico.

Candelario entered a guilty plea on Thursday, according to court documents. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, in return for her plea, agreed to dismiss additional charges she was facing, including two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault.

The charges to which Candelario pleaded could result in a life sentence for the murder charge and up to 12 years for child endangerment. If she is ever released, she will be subject to probation for a period ranging from 18 months to three years.

The prosecution team viewed the outcome as a triumph for the victim in a case they described as one of the most distressing they had encountered. County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley expressed his sentiments following the plea hearing, stating that the case was one of the most unimaginable he had come across in his career.

On June 16, Cleveland Police Department officers and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to a call regarding a deceased infant, later identified as Jailyn, at a residence on West 97th Street. The mother reported finding her child unresponsive upon her return home.

Although there were no signs of physical trauma, the child was severely dehydrated. Investigators discovered soiled blankets and a urine and feces-saturated bottom liner in Jailyn’s Pack-n-Play bin. Candelario confessed to leaving her child alone for 10 days while she vacationed.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and further examination of the toddler’s remains. The medical examiner confirmed that the child had been left alone for approximately 10 days and subsequently died.

Candelario is scheduled to appear in court again on March 18 for her sentencing hearing.