Justice Is Served Upon Kristel Candelario, an Ecuadorian Woman Who Left 16-Month-Old Child Alone While She Vacationed in Puerto Rico

Justice Is Served Upon Kristel Candelario, an Ecuadorian Woman Who Left 16-Month-Old Child Alone While She Vacationed in Puerto Rico
Mugshot, Kristel Candelario

Kristel Candelario, a 32-year-old woman from Ecuador who immigrated to Ohio, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the tragic death of her 16-month-old daughter, Jailyn. Last year, Candelario left Jailyn unattended for over a week while she went on vacation to Detroit and Puerto Rico, resulting in the child’s death. 

The sentencing comes after Candelario pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated murder and child endangerment, as she left Jailyn alone in their Cleveland home from June 6 to June 16, 2023. Upon her return, Candelario discovered Jailyn unresponsive and called the authorities.  

Jailyn was pronounced dead at the scene, having suffered from starvation and severe dehydration. It’s clear as day that Kristel did not have an ounce of motherhood within her.  

The Inhumanity of Kristel Candelario

Dr. Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, described Jailyn’s death as “one of the most tragic and unfortunate cases” she had encountered. The child was found extremely dehydrated and emaciated, weighing significantly less than her last doctor’s visit. In fact, within 10 days, the baby had lost over 5 pounds. This situation was beyond inhumane.  

During the court proceedings, Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley condemned Candelario’s actions, describing Jailyn as “a beautiful baby girl who was taken from this world due to her mother’s unimaginable selfishness.” Candelario expressed remorse, stating, “Every day I ask forgiveness from God and from my daughter Jailyn.” Candelario has even gone as far as saying that she is sure that her daughter has forgiven her – and this statement is mind-boggling on its own.  

Candelario’s attorney, Derek Smith, shed light on her emotional struggles as a single mother of two, emphasizing her challenges with anxiety and depression. He revealed that Candelario had stopped taking her antidepressants abruptly, exacerbating her mental health condition. Yet, he also stressed how depression doesn’t justify the events.  

“Yes, anxiety, depression, I struggle from that myself … and it is not an excuse for what happened,” Smith said. 

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia emphasized the gravity of Candelario’s actions, stating, “Humanity can’t stomach” the idea of a child suffering while a parent is away having fun. She characterized Candelario’s actions as abandonment and called for appropriate punishment. 

In delivering the sentence, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brendan Sheehan echoed the sentiments of the medical professionals and law enforcement involved, describing the case as “one of the most horrific” they had ever encountered. He denounced Candelario’s actions as “the ultimate act of betrayal” and emphasized the severity of her offense. 

Police officers and those working the case, however, took it upon themselves to stand up and testify for Jailyn. One of the detectives on the case even wrote a poem about the terrible situation.  

“J is for the Justice that will be received today 

A is for the Angel wings she earned on that dreadful day 

I is for the Incremental repetition of build-up suspense for an innocent bystander’s death that clearly makes no sense 

L is for the Lack of love while alone for 11 days 

Y is for a Young life that was taken away  

N is for New eternal life Jailyn gained on that day 

No child should have to die this way 

Jailyn’s life truly mattered 

Unfortunately, she died trying to survive off of her own urine and fecal matter” 


“Most horrific case I’ve ever seen.” #Detective delivers powerful #victimimpactstatement in OH v. #KristelCandelarioSentencing. Det. T.J. Powell, Cleveland Police Homicide Unit, delivers a powerful poem during his victim impact statement “we are Jailyn’s voice… we’re her family.” #CourtTV – Kristel Candelario left her child alone for 10 days while she went on vacation to Michigan and Puerto Rico. #candelario #courttvlive #courttvtiktok #courttvshow #courttvnetwork #courttvlivestream #sentenced #vacationmom #guilty #jailcalls #murder #ohiomom

♬ original sound – Court TV – Court TV

Candelario’s Mom Asks for Mercy 

Meanwhile, Candelario’s mother, Kelly Torres, testified in support of her. Find her statement below. 

Statement from her mother, Ketty Torres, through an interpreter: 

“With my heart ripped apart in a thousand pieces, speaking from love and maintained by God, I am here to tell the world that my daughter came from a home where there was relations of humanism, values, beliefs, emotions, warmth, where the most important thing was the family. Kristel grew up and was educated in a healthy environment together with her parents, protected and loved. She studied and was educated in our native country of Ecuador. She chose the same profession as her father and her grandfather: Teaching. Her years as an adult were marked by both physical and emotional problems that didn’t always end up in the best way. Her emotional health was affected on more than one occasion, but between her work, her other responsibilities and her day-to-day life in the middle of all that, she never ended up appreciating the importance of continued treatment.” 

There are no words to describe this tragedy. An innocent life was lost due to someone’s neglect and responsibility. At least, Candelario will receive food and liquids throughout the rest of her life – something Jailyn didn’t have during her last days.  

May Jailyn rest in peace and may justice continue to be served.  

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