A woman from the US city of Cleveland was charged with murder after she left her 16-month-old all alone to go on a week-long vacation. 20-year-old Kristel Candelario returned home to find her daughter Jailyn, unresponsive last Friday morning at their home on West 97th Street.
Investigators pronounced Jailyn dead at the scene and said that the child was “extremely dehydrated”, according to local news outlet WKYC.
Kristel Candelario later admitted that she went to both Puerto Rico and Detroit for a total of eight days leaving her daughter Jailyn alone and without care inside the house.
The investigators told the news outlet that they found the child’s play bin packed with “soiled blankets and a bottom liner, saturated with urine and faeces”.
The news of the death of the child also impacted the community as neighbours lay devastated after being told about the developments. “We were absolutely heartbroken. We loved Jailyn a lot,” a neighbour told WKYC.
The neighbour and her mother said they first saw the child in August 2022 when the mother asked them to watch the child for the weekend. They recalled that days would turn into weeks and Calendario would not pick up the phone and even if she did she would make excuses for why she did not return to pick her daughter up.
They said they would call the mother up and ask for money at times so that they could buy baby food but the mother would not respond. Despite this, these neighbours on several occasions tended to the baby girl and took care of her in her mother’s absence.
“Jailyn really didn’t deserve what happened to her. She was amazing and really adorable and I miss her a lot. I wish for her to pay for what she did to her daughter,” the neighbour said.
The neighbours told the investigators that they wish Calendario would have asked them to watch Jailyn. The mother appeared before the court this week and is currently being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $1 million bond.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner will rule on Jailyn’s exact cause of death and the case is expected to go to a grand jury, WKYC said in its report.