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Judge Says Mom Who Killed 1-Year-Old by Abandoning Her for 10-Day Vacation Committed 'the Ultimate Betrayal'

Kristel Candelario of Ohio left her daughter to fend for herself when she took off for a 10-day vacation in 2023, say prosecutors

<p>Cuyahoga County Police</p> Kristel Candelario

Cuyahoga County Police

Kristel Candelario

An Ohio judge gave a woman a stern admonition when he sentenced her to life in prison for killing her 16-month-old by abandoning her for 10 days while she went on vacation.

On Monday, Cuyahoga County County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan told Kristel Candelario she committed “the ultimate betrayal” by leaving her daughter without food for more than a week last summer when he handed down the life sentence without the possibility for parole, the Associated Press reports.

“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 told her, the AP reports. “The only difference will be, the prison will at least feed you and give you liquid that you denied her.”

Related: Mother Who Left Toddler Home Alone for 10 Days to Go on Vacation Sentenced to Life Over Her Murder

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley also had harsh words for Candelario.

“Today, we remember Jailyn — a beautiful baby girl who was taken from this world due to her mother’s unimaginable selfishness,” he said in a statement.

“The thought of going on vacation for 10 days and leaving your child to starve to death in her Pack-N-Play is a new low in parental care," he said.

From June 6 to June 16, 2023, Candelario, 32, left her daughter Jailyn, alone in a playpen in their Cleveland home while she went on vacation to Detroit and Puerto Rico.

When she returned more than a week later, she called 911 when she found the child unresponsive in the Pack-N-Play, which had soiled blankets, prosecutors said.

The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Related: Ohio Toddler Dies After Mom Allegedly Leaves Child Home Alone for 10 Days to Go on Vacation

Candelario was arrested on June 17, 2023, and faced a slew of charges including two murder counts.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, in February, Candelario pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and child endangerment, prosecutors said in a statement.

In exchange, prosecutors dismissed two murder counts and a felonious assault charge.

The toddler died of starvation and severe dehydration from pediatric neglect, Dr. Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, said in court Monday, NBC News reports.

The child was emaciated, "weighing 13 pounds, 7 pounds less than in her last doctor's visit less than two months before,” Mooney said.

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"There's so much pain that I have in regards to the loss of my baby, Jailyn," said Candelario, who struggles with depression and other mental health issues, NBC News reports.

"I'm extremely hurt about everything that happened. I am not trying to justify my actions, but nobody knew how much I was suffering and what I was going through ... God and my daughter have forgiven me."

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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