CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging Kristel Candelario, 31, for leaving her 16-month-old daughter alone and unattended for 10 days while 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. 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.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

On June 6, 2023, Kristel Candelario left her 16-month-old daughter alone and unattended at her residence near Lorain Avenue and West 97th Street in Cleveland. She did not return to her child until June 16, 2023, around 8 a.m. Upon returning, Candelario found her 16-month-old daughter unresponsive and called the police. The Cleveland Division of Police (CPD) and the Cleveland Division of Fire responded to the scene and the victim was pronounced deceased.

A preliminary investigation conducted by CPD’s Homicide Unit revealed that Candelario left her child alone and unattended from June 6 to June 16 to vacation in Detroit, Michigan, and in Puerto Rico. The 16-month-old child was extremely dehydrated at the time of death. The 16-month-old child was discovered in a Pack-N-Play pin on a liner soiled with urine and feces with soiled blankets.

Candelario was indicted on the following charges:

  • One count of Aggravated Murder
  • Two counts of Murder
  • One count of Felonious Assault
  • One count of Endangering Children

She will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center on a later date.