The Awful Abuse 3-Year-Old Angelina Costello Suffered Before She Died — And How Her Mother Tried To Cover Up Her Wounds

Photo: Weber County Sheriff's Office
The Awful Tale Of Abuse This 3-Year-Old Suffered Before She Died
Entertainment And News

One officer said she looked like a Holocaust victim.

The parents of 3-year-old Angelina Costello were charged with aggravated murder Tuesday morning in the death of the young girl who was found to be covered in makeup to conceal her wounds.

New documents were released Tuesday that detailed the rough life Miller Costello, 25, and Brenda Emile, 23, put Angelina through in her three short years that resulted in the final charges against them.

“It’s the worst case of child abuse I’ve ever seen,” Ogden police Officer Chris Bishop, one of the officers who found the dead girl, said.

Ogden police Officer Sitka Hrabal said that the scene he walked into at the parent’s house was unbelievable.

“I was told she was 3,” the Hrabal testified Friday. “She didn’t look 3 to me. She looked like a Holocaust victim.”

Angelina weighed a mere 13 pounds.

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“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,” a probable cause statement reads.

Court documents state that the child had new injuries as well as injuries in various stages of healing.

It was also determined that the burn marks on Angelina’s face and chest were covered in makeup in an attempt to hide the abuse she endured.

According to Valley Central, the mother admitted to putting makeup on the child’s injuries so “[the injuries] didn't look as bad.”

Deputy Weber County Attorney Christopher Shaw said that Angelina lived a “life of torture.” She died from a combination of blunt force trauma, burns, starvation, and malnutrition, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The probable cause statement went on to state that the deterioration of the toddler’s health could be seen through photos and videos obtained by authorities. The abuse was proven to have gone on for at least a year before her death.

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“A search of [Costello] and [Emile’s] cell phones revealed several pictures and videos which showed a progressive time frame of the child victim’s deteriorating health conditions,” the probable cause statement reads. “The videos also appear to show both [Costello] and [Emile] taunting the child victim with food by presenting it to her and then removing it from her and disciplining her. One video shows [Costello] using the feet of an infant child to kick the child victim in the face. In the videos, the child victim is in an obvious state of emotional duress and distress.”

Costello told authorities he was aware of the abuse Emile was subjecting the three-year-old to but did nothing to stop it or remove Angelina from the situation.

"I knew. I knew it. I knew she was going to die," Costello said.

During the court case Friday, Detective Travis Kearl told Costello, “You knew what the right thing to do was.”

“I knew,” Costello replied.

“But you didn't do it?” the officer asked.

“I didn't do it,” Costello confirmed. “Didn't do it.”

Emile denied harming her daughter and claimed her injuries came from falling or burning herself with sparklers on the Fourth of July, according to Valley Central.

Emile’s mother, Buffy Emile, was arrested Friday after bursting into the courtroom and screaming, "You killed my baby!" followed by an expletive. The judge held her in contempt of the court, according to Desert News.

Emile and Costello were also found to have ties with a transient Romanian gypsy community and the pair had a large sum of cash on them.

“[Costello’s] wallet had approximately $1,200 in cash and over $8,000 in a cashier’s check. Brenda had $36,190 in a purse purchased from Nordstrom’s on June 17, 2017, for approximately $2,000,” the probable cause statement reads.

Both Emile and Costello are being detained at Weber County Jail without bail. They are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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