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A ‘life of torture.’ Parents tried to hide abuse of 3-year-old with makeup, police say

25-year-old Miller Costello and 23-year-old Brenda Emile could face the death penalty in the death of their 3-year-old daughter Angelina in July 2017. Prosecutors say the child was emaciated and her wounds covered in makeup.
25-year-old Miller Costello and 23-year-old Brenda Emile could face the death penalty in the death of their 3-year-old daughter Angelina in July 2017. Prosecutors say the child was emaciated and her wounds covered in makeup. Weber County Sheriff's Office

Burn marks caked with makeup, gaunt and emaciated features, bruises and marks across her body - these are the things police say they noticed when called to the home of 3-year-old Angelina Costello on July 6, 2017 in Ogden, Utah, Fox 13 reported

Now the girl’s parents, 25-year-old Miller Costello and 23-year-old Brenda Emile, could face the death penalty after police found the girl dead in the home, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s the worst case of child abuse I’ve ever seen,” Ogden police officer Chris Bishop said at a pretrial hearing, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Deputy Weber County Attorney Christopher Shaw described her life as a “life of torture,” the paper reported.

Police were called to the home on July 6 after a 911 call about a girl passed out and not breathing, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. When an officer arrived, he said the girl reminded him of “a holocaust survivor,” according to the paper.

“Severely malnutritioned doesn’t even really describe it,” a detective said at the hearing, according to the Deseret News. ”Starvation would be better.”

An autopsy showed hemmorhages in the child’s brain and burns across her body that were “consistent” with cigarette burns, the Standard-Examiner reported.

When police searched the cellphone videos of both parents, they say they found videos of the child being kicked in the face with the foot of an infant, being taunted with food by having it given to her and then taken away and more, Fox 13 reported.

Police said that during these videos, the little girl’s two siblings seemed to be in fine health, and that the parents sometimes allegedly even made a point of having her feed them or watch the parents feed them, according to the Deseret News.

In a police interview, Costello reportedly told investigators he knew about the girl’s health problems but that Emile would get angry with him if he fed her, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Emile reportedly denied ever harming the girl and allegedly said she had been injured playing in a bounce house and by playing with sparklers, according to the paper.

Both parents were charged with aggravated murder and have pleaded not guilty, according to the Associated Press. Emile’s lawyer argued that there was no evidence Emile caused the girl’s death, but the judge pointed out that makeup had allegedly been used to conceal the child’ full injuries, according to the AP.

Both parents are still being held at the Weber County Jail without bond, the Standard-Examiner reported.

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