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Parents accused of torturing toddler to death in Utah were long- - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Parents accused of torturing toddler to death in Utah were long-time Billings residents

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Costello (left) and Emile (right) are accused of killing their 3-year-old daughter (KUTV) Costello (left) and Emile (right) are accused of killing their 3-year-old daughter (KUTV)
BILLINGS -

The man and woman accused of starving, beating and burning their 3-year-old daughter for several months up until she died in Utah last week were long-time residents of Billings.

Miller Costello, 25, and Brenda Emile, 22, were charged Monday in Weber County District Court in Ogden, UT with the toddler’s murder.

According to records filed in Billings Municipal Court, Costello has a lengthy list of citations filed in Billings from at least 2008 to 2015.

Multiple people employed at restaurants and other businesses in Billings reported interacting with the couple as recently as December of 2016.

Ogden police received a call around noon on July 6 for a report of an unresponsive child.

When authorities arrived on scene, they found the girl dead.

Officers noted that the girl had bruising, contusions, lacerations, burns, open sores and abrasions all over her body. She was also extremely malnourished, according to court documents.

A medical examiner discovered a large burn on the girl’s chest and small burns all over her body.

The victim was so malnourished that she had no muscle definition in her limbs and her facial features were sunken in, according to court documents.

Emile allegedly admitted she applied makeup to her daughter’s face and body in an attempt to conceal the injuries.

Detectives discovered videos on the couple’s phones showing the parents taunt the toddler by presenting her with food and removing it while disciplining her, according to court documents.

Other videos show the victim being physically abused.

During an interview with detectives, Miller allegedly admitted he knew his daughter’s health was deteriorating and was aware that Emile was purposefully withholding food from the girl.

Miller said Emile told him not to seek medical attention because she did not want their children taken away from them.

The couple told authorities that they have ties to a transient Romanian gypsy community, according to court documents.

Miller said he works out of state buying scrap metal at auction. He said he made $150,000 in June.

Prosecutors alleged that the couple had the financial means to support the victim, considering Emile had more than $36,000 in cash in a purse she’d just purchased for $2,000.

A neighbor who spoke to KUTV, a CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, said the couple had just moved in to the area days earlier.

The couple’s two other children were placed in the custody of child protective services. It’s unclear if they had been abused.

Emile and Costello were booked at the Weber County jail.

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