THE mother who locked her baby in a room and left her alone for a month has been found guilty of murder by a Malaga court.
The jury unanimously convicted the teen mum after hearing the harrowing details of her crimes this week.
The unnamed Moroccan was also found guilty of abandonment charges after she admitted to the accusations brought forward by the Prosecutor’s Office.
Both the defense and prosecutors are asking for a 15-year jail sentence for murder and another year for abandonment.
The state had been seeking 20 years for murder but lowered their ask after the mother admitted to the charges and ‘showed regret’.
The presiding magistrate will now rule on what penalty is imposed after the prosecutor’s account of the facts were considered proven.
After months of neglect, baby Camelia, at 17 months old, was left locked in a room with a bottle and a packet of cookies in October 2018.
Her mother left her there and never returned until her family insisted on seeing the little girl a month later.
The mother knew what she had done would lead to the death of the baby and she tried to hide what she had done by claiming Camelia was with a caregiver when she was asked about by friends.
The mother first settled in Torre del Mar and gave birth on May 4 2017, with help from her sister who was living in Velez-Malaga.
The mother joined her sister there while she started studying and using free childcare provided by Torre del Mar.
However she was soon expelled from her studies due to her poor attendance record, leading her to move to Malaga city and start a job as a club promoter and waitress, with her family in Morocco subsidising her new life in the capital.
She failed, however, to arrange for the free childcare to continue, despite her only having to sort out a few documents.
When she began work as a promoter, she would leave her baby on the floor all night, unattended. She was just 15 months old and could not even walk.
When she finished work at around 6am, the court heard how she would not return home, but instead go to the home of a friend in Las Chapas, telling pals she did not want to wake the baby.
The mum did not return usually until 2pm, meaning for 12 hours each day, the baby was left alone in the flat, ‘devoid of the necessary emotional and physical care vital for a baby of her age’, prosecutors had said during the trial.
And things only deteriorated. From mid-September she began sleeping at another friend’s house, leaving the little girl alone at night and until the following afternoon, when she returned to feed her before going back out ‘to resume her social life, leaving her alone again.’
Several neighbours would later tell police that they often heard the ‘inconsolable and continuous’ crying of the baby.
Prosecutors said the little girl remained for countless hours in an environment that was ‘unhealthy, dirty and messy, with clothes and empty food and drink containers scattered everywhere.’
Eventually the baby would stop crying ‘due to exhaustion.’
When the mother stopped working as a promoter, the situation continued, as she switched her job for partying instead, or spending time with her new boyfriend, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said when asked about the baby she would tell them that a caregiver was looking after her.
At some time in October, the mother locked her baby in a dark bedroom, put her on the bed with one bottle and some cookies, and left her there for a month.
At just 17 months old, little Camelia passed away alone in the dark, screaming for her mother.
The mum continued partying as her daughter whittled away, even celebrating her pal’s 20th birthday on November 27.
Just a few days later her family would arrive and demand to see the child.
After trying to pretend that she was with a caregiver in Nerja, she eventually confessed to them what she had done and ran away.
Relatives informed police and a patrol went to the house with the young woman’s brother-in-law. Neighbours confirmed that there had been no movement or noise in the apartment for a month. Given the possibility that the little girl could be in danger, they broke down the door.
Inside the bedroom they located the body of the baby.
There were cookie scraps on the floor and an empty bottle. On the bed blanket, traces of cocaine and paracetamol were found. The autopsy determined that the little girl had been dead between 26 and 30 days. The cause of her death, according to forensics, was the abandonment and the lack of food, water and care, which caused ‘physical and moral suffering’, said the prosecutor.
The mum tried to flee to Morocco but was arrested by homicide detectives on December 1.
“I left her locked in the room, with a bottle and cookies, and I did not go back to the house again,” she told officers, sobbing.