Mother Sentenced to Life Without Parole for Leaving Toddler Alone for 10-Day Vacation

Cleveland, Ohio – An Ohio woman has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the aggravated murder of her 16-month-old daughter. Kristel Candelario left her toddler alone in their Cleveland home for 10 days last summer while she went on a vacation to Detroit and Puerto Rico.

Upon her return, Candelario found her daughter unresponsive and called the police. The child was pronounced dead shortly after emergency responders arrived. Prosecutors stated that the toddler was found to be extremely dehydrated, leading to her death from starvation and dehydration. It was noted that the child had lost seven pounds since her last doctor’s visit two months prior.

During her sentencing, County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan emphasized that Candelario had numerous opportunities to save her daughter’s life but failed to intervene. He described the toddler’s death as a horrific betrayal, leaving the child alone and suffering without food, water, or protection.

Comparing Candelario’s life sentence to the confinement her daughter endured before her death, Judge Sheehan highlighted the lack of remorse shown by the defendant. Despite claims of suffering from depression and mental health issues, Candelario was deemed fit to stand trial for her actions.

Candelario’s attorney mentioned that there was no justification for her actions, labeling it as the “absolutely worst parenting imaginable.” He suggested that the treatment she received for her mental and physical health issues before the incident had been inadequate.

Addressing the court, Candelario expressed her deep remorse for her daughter’s death, acknowledging the pain she had caused her family. Through a Spanish interpreter, she spoke of her suffering and hoped for forgiveness from her parents and surviving daughter. The case raised questions about the importance of mental health support and intervention in preventing such tragedies from happening.