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Mum pleads guilty to aggravated murder after toddler starved to death at home while she was on holiday

Kristal Candelario could serve a lengthy prison sentence (AP)
Kristal Candelario could serve a lengthy prison sentence (AP)

An American mother who went on holiday and left her baby daughter at home in a playpen for 10 days has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder.

Kristel Candelario left her 16-month-old child Jailyn in their home in Cleveland, Ohio, while she visited Puerto Rico and Detroit last June.

The 32-year-old posted pictures on Facebook of herself at beaches and enjoying exhibits all while her daughter was slowly dying of starvation and thirst.

She called emergency services when she discovered that Jailyn was not breathing when she returned from the holiday.

Candelario has been held for sentencing and could face a life term when she is back before the court on March 18.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner's office found that the baby had died from starvation and severe dehydration.

Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said: "This case is one of those truly unimaginable cases that will stick with me for many years to come.

"It is our job to represent the victims, and today we spoke on behalf of 16-month-old Jailyn - who is no longer with us - due to the selfish decisions her mother made. This conviction today is the first step toward justice for Jailyn."

Candelario’s counsel Derek Smith and Patrick Milligan also gave a statement but did not detail the plea deal other than to hint at their client suffering mental health issues.

Their statement read: “There will be mitigating issues that come up at sentencing that we will address. Hopefully, people will realise that she is not the monster that some see her as.”