Ohio mom who abandoned her baby to go on a 10-day vacation gets life without parole: ‘The ultimate betrayal’

An Ohio mother went on a 10-day summer vacation in June 2023. Rather than bring her 16-month-old daughter Jailyn along, Kristel Candelario, 32, decided instead to leave the baby behind to fend for herself in a dirty playpen.

Jailyn died a slow, painful death, losing nearly half her body weight before succumbing to starvation and dehydration.

The victim’s cruel and callous mother pleaded guilty on Feb. 22 to one count of aggravated murder and one count of endangering children.

The Associated Press reported that Candelario claimed at her sentencing Monday that God and Jailyn have forgiven her. She received no such forgiveness from County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan.

“Just as you didn’t let Jailyn out of her confinement, so too you should spend the rest of your life in a cell without freedom,” Sheehan said Monday.

“The only difference will be, the prison will at least feed you and give you liquid that you denied her.”

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office indicated that Candelario left Jailyn alone and unattended at her home near Lorain Avenue and West 97th Street in Cleveland on June 6, then went gallivanting around Detroit and Puerto Rico.

According to Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia, Candelario had also left the baby alone for two days immediately before going on the vacation.

Candelario eventually made her way back home on June 16. Upon finding her baby dead and emaciated, the child-killer called police.

First responders found Jailyn “in a Pack-N-Play pen on a liner soiled with urine and faeces with soiled blankets.”

Candelario was subsequently arrested and held on a $1 million bond. She initially pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, and endangering children.

During the trial, Derek Smith, the child-killer’s attorney, attempted to paint his client as an emotionally overburdened single mother of two who was “not thinking clearly.” The attempt was wasted on all those confronted with the facts in court.

Dr. Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, testified in court Monday that the child weighed 20 pounds at her last doctor’s visit in late spring. When Jailyn’s body was recovered, it weighed 13 pounds, reported NBC News.

Mooney said Jailyn’s death was “one of the most tragic and unfortunate cases I’ve had in my career thus far,” noting that the baby likely suffered for an entire week before passing away.

Investigators indicated that Candelario attempted to mask the consequence of her actions, changing Jailyn’s clothes just before first responders arrived. They nevertheless observed the feces in the baby’s eyes and under her fingernails.

“The thought of this child dying every day while she’s having fun — humanity can’t stomach that,” said Faraglia. “And those are the actions that need to be punished. She abandoned her daughter and left her for dead.”

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement that Jailyn was “a beautiful baby girl who was taken from this world due to her mother’s unimaginable selfishness.”

“The thought of going on vacation for 10 days and leaving your child to starve to death in her Pack-N-Play is a new low in parental care,” added O’Malley.

Court TV reported that Faraglia asked the court to consider jail phone calls in which the child-killer allegedly indicated she had a “blast” while on vacation in Puerto Rico and made plans for what she might do when freed from prison.

Faraglia stressed that Candelario appeared unrepentant, quoting the child-killer as saying, “It’s not like I did it intentionally. It’s not like I picked up a gun or a bat or the girl bled.”

The judge said when sentencing the child-killer in the death penalty state, “The bond between a mother and child is one of the purest and most sacred bonds between human beings. It’s a relationship based on love, trust and unwavering protection. Yet, in a shocking betrayal of fundamental trust, you committed the ultimate act of betrayal, leaving your baby. terrified,alone, unprotected to Suffer what I heard was the most gruesome death imaginable”.

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