Kristel Candelario sentenced after she left baby daughter to die in a play pen in Cleveland

Mugshot of Kristel Candelario
Kristel Candelario pleaded guilty to killing her baby. Pic credit: Cuyahoga County Jail

Kristel Candelario was sentenced yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio after she admitted last month to the murder of her baby when she abandoned the child for ten days so she could go on vacation.

The 32-year-old Candelario was convicted of murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On June 6, 2023, Candelario left her 16-month-old daughter, Jailyn Candelario, alone at their home in Cleveland. The mother traveled to Detroit and Puerto Rico, not returning until the morning of June 16.

Candelario had left her baby in a Pack-N-Play pen without food or water. On her return, Candelario found Jailyn to be unresponsive and called 911. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

The mother had posed for photos on social media as she sunned herself on a beach while her baby starved to death at home.

The coroner’s office concluded that Jailyn had died from dehydration and starvation. She weighed about 13 lbs at the time of her death, which was seven lbs lighter than the weight recorded two months previously during a visit to the doctor. The child had been lying in feces and urine for a long time.

Kristel Candelario pleaded guilty to starving baby Jailyn to death

In February, Candelario pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder and one count of endangering children. Yesterday, she was sentenced to life in prison.

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Cuyahoga County Court Judge Brendan Sheehan told the baby killer, “I have to remember Jailyn, where you did not. Just as you didn’t let Jailyn out of her confinement until she died, so too you should spend the rest of your life in a cell without freedom. The only difference will be that prison will at least feed you and give you liquids that you denied her.”

Judge Sheehan further condemned Candelario for her “absolute depravity” and stressed that baby Jailyn had suffered “the most gruesome death imaginable” while being left alone unprotected and unloved.

Judge told Kristel Candelario she could have saved her baby at any time

The judge also pointed out that Candelario had numerous opportunities throughout her ten-day vacation to have someone check on Jailyn. He said it “wasn’t simply an oversight.”

Candelario and her defense team acknowledged the severity of her crime but noted that she was suffering from depression and other mental health issues. Defense lawyer Derek Smith condemned his client’s actions but claimed she had not received adequate mental care.

The murderer claimed through a Spanish interpreter that she was suffering a lot at the time. She also asked for her parents and another daughter to forgive her. Candelario has another older daughter, and it is unclear where she was during the time of Jailyn’s death.

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