A Utah couple faces aggravated murder charges after they allegedly tried to conceal their daughter’s injuries from abuse with makeup.
Miller Costello, 25, and Brenda Emile, 22, were arrested after police responded to a 911 call reporting that their 3-year-old daughter, Angelina Costello, was unconscious and not breathing at their home in Ogden, KSTU reports.
Prosecutors said that the couple taunted the malnourished young girl with food before her death, according to The Associated Press. Cell phone videos obtained by police show the girl becoming increasingly malnourished and in worse condition.
Police said that some of the videos even show Emile and Miller showing the girl food before taking it away to punish her.
Another video showed Miller using another child’s feet to kick Angelina in the face, prosecutors said.
The videos obtained by police along with photos also obtained by authorities, showed a “progressive time frame” of the young girl’s abuse.
The couple’s lawyer, James Retallick, has reportedly not commented on the case.
Angelina’s “extremely malnourished” body was found covered in burns, cuts and bruises. Emile admitted to authorities that she had tried to cover up the young girl’s injuries with makeup “so they didn’t look as bad.”
“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,” said the probable cause statement.
Miller said the girl’s mother, who watched the children during the day, told him that the other kids had hurt Angelina.
“Miller stated Brenda told him the child victim had been struck, or otherwise injured by siblings in the house or had fallen down,” continued the probable cause statement.
Emile said that she had not sought medical help for the girl because she wanted to avoid a police investigation that could take her children from her.
Two other children from the home were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The couple said that they had ties to the transient Romanian community, and Miller said he travels around the country buying scrap metal at auctions. He said that he made $150,000 in June. The couple had tens of thousands of dollars in cash when they were arrested, police said.
Prosecutors have requested that the couple be held without bail because of their connections to multiple states.
Each of them faces a charge of aggravated murder, which can carry a death penalty sentence.