Mother gets life sentence after leaving infant alone for 10-day vacation

CLEVELAND, OH – A mother from Ohio has been condemned to life imprisonment without any chance of parole, following her admission of guilt in the murder of her 16-month-old daughter. Kristel Candelario, 32, confessed to abandoning her daughter, Jailyn Candelario, alone in a playpen for a ten-day period while she was vacationing in Detroit and Puerto Rico.

During her sentencing hearing, Candelario stated that she believed she had been forgiven by “God and my daughter.” The young child was found lifeless in their Cleveland home in June 2023.

In delivering the sentence, County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan drew a stark comparison between Candelario’s impending prison life and the confinement she subjected her daughter to. He pointed out that Candelario, unlike her daughter, would be provided with sustenance in prison.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley expressed his dismay at the case, stating that the act of leaving a child to die of starvation while on vacation was an unprecedented level of parental neglect.

Earlier in February, Candelario had pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated murder and child endangerment. The Prosecutor’s Office detailed that on June 6 of the previous year, Candelario had left her daughter alone at home, returning only after ten days.

Upon her return, Candelario discovered Jailyn unresponsive and immediately called the police. A subsequent investigation by the Cleveland Police Department’s Homicide Unit revealed the child had been left alone from June 6 to June 16. The child was found in a playpen, severely dehydrated and surrounded by soiled blankets.

Candelario, who has a history of depression and related mental health issues, has reportedly prayed daily for forgiveness. Following the sentencing, Cleveland Police Chief Dorothy Todd praised the efforts of the homicide unit in securing justice for Jailyn.