Ohio mom indicted in death of toddler left alone for 10 days

Posted at 8:26 PM, June 26, 2023 and last updated 9:47 PM, June 29, 2023

By: Drew Scofield

CLEVELAND (Scripps News Cleveland) — An Ohio mother who told police she left her 16-month-old daughter home alone for a week while she vacationed in Puerto Rico and Michigan has been indicted for the child’s death.

The mother, 31-year-old Kristel Candelario, is charged with one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault and one count of endangering children, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

Booking photo of Kristel Candelario.

In this booking photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, is Kristel Candelario, 31, of Cleveland, Ohio. Prosecutors in Ohio have announced murder charges against a woman in the death of her 16-month-old daughter, who authorities allege was left alone for 10 days while she went on vacation. (Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department)

RELATED: Police: Toddler left home alone, dies while mom on vacation

“It is unfathomable that a mother would leave her 16-month-old child alone without any supervision for 10 days to go on a vacation,” said Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. “As parents, we are supposed to protect and care for our children. Imagining this child’s suffering during her last days of life alone is truly horrifying, and we will do everything in our power to seek justice on her behalf.”

Authorities responded to the 3100 block of West 97th Street on June 16 after Candelario found her child unresponsive. She told police that she had left the 16-month-old at home alone while she went on vacation for a week, court records state.

Police said the child’s Pack N Play “consisted of soiled blankets and a bottom liner saturated with urine and feces,” according to court records.

The mother is currently being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond. She will be arraigned in county court on a later date.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Cleveland, an E.W. Scripps Company.