Authorities on Friday revealed footage showing how the parents of a 3-year-old Utah girl abused her before she died, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
In July, the girl, Angelina Costello, was found dead in her family’s home. Prosecutors have charged her parents, 23-year-old Emile and 25-year-old Costello, with first-degree aggravated murder.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Christopher Shaw told a judge that the girl “lived a life of torture” and he presented video evidence to prove it. In one recording, shot months before the girl died, she is seen on the floor with blood running out of her nose. Her father was ordering her to eat an onion.
Another video recorded a year prior to her death shows Emile taunting the child with scrambled eggs and then pulling the food away.
“Haha, no food for you,” the girl’s mother told her.
A third video showed how the parents played with Angelina’s brother and sister while she was forced to stand in a corner and face away from the family. The girl had clearly visible bruises and scabs on her arms and face in the recording.
In July, when Ogden police Officer Sitka Hrabal first entered the home, she saw the girl lying on a carpet in a blanket.
“I was told she was 3,” Hrabal testified Friday. “She didn’t look 3 to me. She looked like a Holocaust victim.”
Angelina’s ribs were showing, her extremities were covered in bruises, her face had burn marks and her chest had makeup on it — an apparent attempt to cover up her injuries.
The girl weighed just 13 pounds.
“It’s the worst case of child abuse I’ve ever seen,” Ogden police Officer Chris Bishop said.
Shaw told the court that Angelina died as a result of blunt force trauma, starvation, burns and malnutrition. Costello claims that he was aware of his daughter’s failing health but that his wife would get angry if he fed the girl.
“You knew what the right thing to do was,” Detective Travis Kearl told Costello during an interrogation, a recording of which was played in court.
“I knew,” Costello responded.
“But you didn’t do it?” Kearl asked.
“I didn’t do it,” Costello said. “Didn’t do it.”
The girl’s mother told police that she would not harm her children and that the girl’s injuries may have come from falling down and being burned by Fourth of July sparklers.
During Friday’s hearing, Emile’s mother burst through the courtroom doors and yelled, “You killed my baby, motherf*****!”
Child welfare authorities are caring for the couple’s other kids.