Parents Allegedly Beat 3-Year-Old Daughter to Death and Then Tried to Conceal Wounds with Makeup
A Utah couple facing aggravated murder charges stemming from the beating death of their 3-year-old daughter allegedly used makeup to try to conceal the injuries on her face, hands, legs, head, and neck, PEOPLE confirms.
Before calling 911, 25-year-old Miller Costello and 22-year-old Brenda Emile allegedly applied the makeup to Angelina Costello’s body in the hopes of concealing bruises, burns, contusions and open sores.
Emile allegedly admitted to police she used the cosmetics to cover the dead child’s injuries “so they didn’t look so bad,” according to affidavits obtained by PEOPLE.
Police were summoned to the couple’s home last Thursday after receiving a report of an unresponsive child who had stopped breathing.
They arrived to find Angelina dead; court records allege the girl’s skin was cold and rigid to the touch.
Investigators determined the child was malnourished, and uncovered videos from both parents’ phones showing the couple “taunting the child victim with food by presenting it to her and then removing it from her and disciplining her,” an affidavit reads.
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Several of Angelina’s injuries seemed to be recently inflicted while others appeared to be older and healing.
Costello allegedly admitted to police he knew his daughter was in poor health, and that Emile had been withholding food from the girl. He allegedly told investigators Emile told him Angelina’s injuries were sustained during interactions with her siblings.
“Brenda told Miller that she did not want to get medical attention for the child victim because she did not want a police investigation or to have her children taken from her,” the charging documents allege.
The couple was detained late last week, and three children found in their home are now in the care of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
Both parents are being held in the Weber County jail without bail.
They have yet to enter pleas to the charges they face.
It was unclear Tuesday if either defendant had retained legal counsel who could comment on their behalf.