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25th Jun 2023

16-month-old girl dies after mum leaves her home alone to go on vacation – for 10 days

Steve Hopkins

‘Jailyn, she was a happy baby, always smiling, always curious about stuff’

A 16-month-old girl is dead after her mum left her home alone to go on an island vacation.

Kristel Candelario is facing a murder charge after leaving her daughter in their Cleveland home for 10 days while she went on a trip to Puerto Rico and Detroit, a police affidavit obtained by NBC News states.

The child was pronounced dead when first responders arrived at the home on June 16, the Cleveland Police Department said, noting there were “no signs of trauma”.

Candelario, who was arrested two days later, is alleged to have admitted leaving her daughter, Jailyn, “at home, all alone and unattended,” according to the affidavit.

The 31-year-old reportedly said her daughter was “extremely dehydrated” when she returned home.

The affidavit said Jailyn’s pen “consisted of soiled blankets and a bottom liner, saturated with urine and faeces”.

Jailyn was left home alone for 10 days. Picture credit: WKYC

A 13-year-old neighbour told WKYC: “Jailyn really didn’t deserve what happened to her. She was amazing and really adorable, and I miss her a lot.”

Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, told News5 they had been left in disbelief over the tragedy.

They said: “Jailyn, she was a happy baby, always smiling, always curious about stuff. She was a wonderful, wonderful baby.”

A neighbour told WEWS that this wasn’t the first time Candelario left her baby alone in the home.

“We keep telling her not to leave her by herself, not just me, my friend across the street too, but she always leave her by herself,” one neighbour said.

Candelario lives in the house with her two daughters and her parents, but recently her parents took Candelario’s oldest daughter with them on vacation, neighbors said.

“There were so many people here; she could have knocked on any of our doors and asked us to take Jailyn,” another neighbour told the station.

The child’s body was moved to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination as the investigation is ongoing, police said.

According to officials with Children and Family Services, there is no record of any previous cases involving Candelario.

News 5 discovered Candelario worked at Hope Academy Northcoast as an instructional aide during the 2019-2020 school year. She worked at Citizens Academy Glenville since the fall of 2020.

Candelario is currently being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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