Mom Who Left Baby Home Alone For 10 Days To Take A Vacation Pleads Guilty To Murder

Tragedy struck in Cleveland, Ohio, in June 2023. A mother left her baby home alone with no one to care for her, and took a 10-day vacation to Puerto Rico. When Kristel Candelario returned, she found the baby dead. She called 911 but it was too late.
In February 2024, Candelario pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and one count of endangering children. Some other charges, including assault, were dropped in the plea deal. Candelario’s lawyer, Patrick Milligan, says the public shouldn’t judge her as too harshly as she is remorseful for her actions.

Jailyn was just 16 months old when her mother left her alone. Candelario abandoned her in a pack 'n play on June 6, 2023. She didn’t come home until June 16.

Over those 10 days, Candelario traveled to Detroit, Michigan, and Puerto Rico. Upon returning home, she discovered her daughter was unresponsive. Emergency responders declared the child dead at the scene and an investigation was initiated by the Cleveland Division of Police's Homicide Unit.

Jailyn’s cause of death was determined to be starvation and dehydration. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O'Malley is haunted by this case. "Jailyn was extremely dehydrated at the time of death," a statement revealed. "Jailyn was discovered in a Pack-N-Play pen on a liner soiled with urine and feces and soiled blankets."

"This case is one of those truly unimaginable cases that will stick with me for many years to come," O'Malley continued. "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 toward justice for Jailyn."

Patrick Milligan offers a different perspective. He says the court proceedings were “emotional” for Candelario. "She has taken responsibility for what she did, and she is remorseful,” he argued.

“There will be mitigating issues that come up at sentencing that we will address," he went on to say. "Hopefully, people will realize that she is not the monster that some see her as." He added that she had mental health issues but would not elaborate on the specifics.

Candelario could face life in prison without parole. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18, 2024. It is then the public will learn more about her mental state at the time of the crimes.

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