Parents were accused for killing their 3-year-old daughter who was found with signs of abuse all over her body and was extremely malnourished.
Miller Costello, 25, and Brenda Emile, 22, are now facing charges of aggravated murder for the death of their daughter, Angelina Costello.
In July 6, the victim was found in their family home in Ogden, Utah after her parents called police to report she wasn’t breathing. According to the police, her body was filled with burns, cuts and bruises, some of which appeared to be fresh.
According to the probable cause statement, “Officers on scene immediately recognized the child victim had bruising, contusions, lacerations, burns, open sores and abrasions all over her face, hands, legs, head and neck”.
She also had a large burn on her chest and several small, circular burns on her back, legs and feet, the document said.
“The child victim’s facial features were also sunken in, void of definition from muscle or fat. Some of the child victim’s injuries appeared recent and acute, while other injuries appeared to be in various stages of healing.”
Emile admitted to the police that she used makeup to conceal some of her daughter’s injuries “so they didn’t look as bad,” according to the charges.
Investigators found cellphone videos that show Angelina’s condition growing worse over an 18-month period before her “extremely malnourished” body was found at the home.
Police searched the cellphones of both parents and discovered photos and video showing a “progressive time frame” of the child’s deteriorating health for over an 18-month period, the document states.
Some of the videos, according to police, show both Costello and Emile taunting the 3-year-old with food by presenting it to her, then removing it and then disciplining her. Prosecutors said another video shows Miller using the feet of an infant child to kick their daughter in the face.
“Miller (Costello) stated Brenda (Emile) told him the child victim had been struck or otherwise injured by siblings in the house or had fallen down.”
Costello acknowledged he knew his toddler was in danger of dying if she didn’t get medical attention, but did not take her to the doctor, police said.
Emile allegedly told Costello that she did not want to get medical attention for the child because she did not want a police investigation or to have her children taken from her.
The couple claims to have ties to a transient Romanian gypsy community, according to KSTU. Costello told police he buys scrap metal at auctions across the country and made $150,000 last month. Prosecutors said they had tens of thousands of dollars in cash when they were arrested.
Costello and Emile are being held in the Weber County Jail without bail and they could face the death penalty after being charged with aggravated murder.