OGDEN — A mother and father were charged with aggravated murder Tuesday after prosecutors say the parents severely abused their 3-year-old daughter until she died and attempted to hide some of her injuries with makeup "so they didn’t look as bad."
Miller Costello, 25, and Brenda Emile, 22, both were charged in 2nd District Court with the first-degree felony.
Disturbing charging documents describe a pattern of ongoing abuse by the parents of Angelina Costello, particularly by Emile. Neither parent sought needed medical attention for the girl because they didn't want police to take their children away, charges state.
The investigation started July 6 when Ogden police officers were called to a residence in the 2800 block of Grant Avenue on a report that a child was not conscious or breathing, according to police.
When officers arrived, they found that Angelina was already deceased and appeared to have been dead for some time, according to charging documents.
"At that time, the child victim was cold to the touch and stiff with an apparent onset of rigor mortis," charges state.
Detectives observed "bruising, contusions, lacerations, burns, open sores and abrasions all over (the girl's) face, hands, legs, head and neck," according to charging documents. Angelina was also "extremely malnourished," charges state.
"A large burn on her chest was found, along with small circular burns on her back, legs and feet. Her back, legs and feet were also covered in bruises and lacerations," according to the charges.
Angelina's stomach was "sunken in," and "her legs and arms appeared thin and atrophied with no visible muscle tone or definition," charges state. Her facial features were "void of definition from muscle or fat," and she "was covered in a thin layer of what appeared to be makeup in an attempt to conceal the injuries," according to charging documents.
Investigators also found video and photographic evidence on the couple's cellphones of the ongoing and progressive abuse starting in January 2016, charges state.
"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," according to charging documents.
Another video shows Costello "using the feet of an infant child to kick (Angelina) in the face," and the girl is in "an obvious state of emotional duress and distress" in the videos, charges state.
Costello claimed that Emile was purposely withholding food and that he "knew if the child didn’t get medical attention then she would die," according to the charges.
Emile did not seek medical help, the charges state, either "because she did not want a police investigation or to have her children taken from her."
The couple has "self-proclaimed ties to a transient Romanian gypsy community," according to the charges.
Costello told police he made $150,000 last month, and Emile had $36,190 in her purse, charges state. Prosecutors have asked for a higher than average bail out of fear that the couple could flee the area if released.
Costello and Emile had lived in the house for less than a week when police were called. Two other children, a 4-year-old and a child younger than 3, were taken into state protective custody. Neither showed signs of abuse, police said.