Babies need adult supervision at all times. Even leaving them alone for a few minutes could be disastrous. This story is incredibly heartbreaking.

A woman in Cleveland left her one-year-old daughter at home alone in her playpen while she went off on a 10-day vacation to Detroit and Puerto Rico. Now, she has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in a child’s death because of what transpired because of her actions.

Kristel Candelario admitted to endangering children, which led to the death of her daughter, Jailyn Candelario. She now faces a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

“This case is one of those truly unimaginable cases that will stick with me for many years to come,” Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said. “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. This conviction today is the first step towards justice for Jailyn.”


The prosecutors, however, dropped two murder charges and one felonious assault charge in exchange for Kristel Candelario to accept a plea deal. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan will issue an official sentence next month on March 18.

32-year-old Candelario left her infant daughter alone at her home on June 6, 2023. She returned from her vacation on June 16, to find her daughter not breathing. She then proceeded to call 911. Cleveland firefighters came to the scene and found the child’s lifeless body on soiled blankets in her playpen and proceeded to pronounce her dead. The room had bedding that was soiled with urine and feces.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office was able to determine that little Jailyn died of starvation and severe dehydration.


Candelario’s attorneys, Derek Smith and Patrick Milligan said they would not give any comments about the case, citing that her sentencing would be next month.

“This was a real emotional day for our client,” Milligan said to the media. “She has taken responsibility for what she did, and she is remorseful. There will be mitigating issues that come up at sentencing that we will address. Hopefully, people will realize that she is not the monster that some see her as.”

However, Candelario’s attorneys said that she suffered from mental health issues but refused to give any more details. Candelario has had no prior felony convictions. She is currently in jail on a $1 million bond.

This is such a heartbreaking story. Our thoughts are with anyone who might be going through something like this.


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