On Monday, prosecutors said that a Utah man and woman, accused of killing their 3-year-old little girl, purposely starved her, taunted her, beat her, and applied makeup to the toddler in an attempt to cover up signs of abuse.
Brenda Emile and Miller Costello were arrested on July 6 after their child, Angelina Costello, was found deceased in their Ogden, Utah, home. According to arrest documents, police the found the child’s lifeless body filled with cuts, bruises, and fresh burns. Her facial features were “sunken in, void of definition from muscle or fat,” due to malnourishment.
“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,” the charging documents read. “The child victim was also covered in a thin layer of what appeared to be make-up in an attempt to conceal the injuries.”
Emile, 22, reportedly told authorities that she applied makeup to some of her daughter’s wounds so that so “they didn’t look as bad.”
Investigators believe that the abuse started at least 18 months before Angelina passed away. Court documents indicated that cellphone videos found on the suspects’ phones showed the little girl’s condition worsening over time. In some of the videos, the suspects allegedly presented food to the little girl, but snatched it away before she could eat it as a form of punishment.
“The videos also appear to show both [Costello] and [Emile] taunting the child victim with food by presenting it to her and then removing it from her and disciplining her. One video shows [Costello] using the feet of an infant child to kick the child victim in the face. In the videos the child victim is in an obvious state of emotional duress and distress.”
Costello reportedly blamed Emile for the abuse and claimed that she frequently withheld food from their daughter. Yet, he took no action to seek medical care for Angelina, nor did he try to give her food or remove her from the abusive situation.
Both suspects, with alleged ties to a transient Romanian gypsy group, are being held in the Webster County jail on murder charges, with no bond. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.
[Feature Photo: Webster Sheriff’s Office]