Ohio Mom Who Left Toddler Alone When She Went on Vacay, Sentenced

DATELINE: CLEVELAND — An Ohio mother whose 16-month-old daughter died after being left home alone in a playpen for 10 days last summer while she went on vacation was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Authorities have said Kristel Candelario, 32, left her daughter, Jailyn, in their Cleveland home when she went on vacation to Detroit and Puerto Rico in June 2023. When she returned 10 days later, she found the girl was not breathing in the playpen and called 911. Emergency responders found the child was “extremely dehydrated” and pronounced her dead shortly after they arrived. An autopsy by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office determined that the toddler died of starvation and severe dehydration.

County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan told Candelario she committed “the ultimate betrayal” by leaving her daughter alone without food.

“Just as you didn’t let Jailyn out of her confinement, so too you should spend the rest of your life in a cell without freedom,” Sheehan said. “The only difference will be, the prison will at least feed you and give you liquid that you denied her.”


“God and my daughter have forgiven me”

Candelario’s attorney, Derek Smith, said that no one was trying to excuse her behavior but that Candelario was struggling emotionally and was overwhelmed as a single mother of two children.

Candelario had tried to harm herself earlier in 2023 and she had been placed on antidepressants, which she stopped taking without tapering down in dosage as required, which can cause side effects, Smith told the court. Candelario was “not thinking clearly,” he said.

“I am not trying to justify my actions, but nobody knew how much I was suffering and what I was going through,” Candelario said through an interpreter.

Candelario told the court Monday that “every day I ask forgiveness from God and from my daughter Jailyn.”

She also asked forgiveness from her other daughter and from her parents.


This is a followup to last month’s “Ohio Mom Who Left Toddler Alone To Go On 8 Day Vacay Pleads Guilty To Murder”.

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