Death Penalty Sought for Utah Parents Accused of Killing Toddler, Covering Her Injuries With Makeup
The State of Utah filed a notice Tuesday stating they are seeking the death penalty in the case of an Ogden couple accused of killing their 3-year-old daughter and trying to conceal the injuries with makeup, according to KTLA sister station KSTU.
Miller Costello and Brenda Emile were arrested in July 2017 after the couple’s 3-year-old daughter Angelino Costello was found dead, the Salt Lake City television station reported.
Police said at the time there was evidence of abusive trauma. Authorities also removed a younger sibling from the couple’s home. The pair had recently moved to the area.
The victim appeared to have suffered extensive injuries caused by abuse, police indicated at the time.
“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,” according to court documents obtained by KSTU.
She also had a large burn on her chest and several small, circular burns on her back, legs and feet, the document stated.
Emile allegedly admitted to officers that she covered the child in makeup to conceal the injuries “so they didn’t look so bad.”
Some of the abuse was caught on camera, officials said.
The cellphones of both parents were searched, and police discovered photos and video showing a “progressive time frame” of the child’s deteriorating health, according to the court documents.
Police said some of the videos showed Costello and Emile taunting the toddler with food by presenting it to her before removing it; they would then discipline her. Another video shows Miller using the feet of an infant child to kick their daughter in the face, prosecutors said.
Authorities were called out to the family’s home on July 6, 2017, following a report of a child unconscious and not breathing. But by the time they got there, it appeared the victim been deceased for quite some time, prosecutors said.
Weber County attorneys filed a notice in Second District Court Tuesday of their intent to seek the death penalty against both Costello and Emile. Both are charged with aggravated murder as a capital felony.
The Tribune Media Wire contributed to this story.