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Trial set for parents 5 years after death of emaciated child

Miller Costello listens during a court hearing on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Ogden. Costello and Brenda Emile are charged with aggravated murder in the death of their 3-year-old daughter. A judge on Thursday set trial to begin Aug. 1, 2022.

Miller Costello listens during a court hearing on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Ogden. Costello and Brenda Emile are charged with aggravated murder in the death of their 3-year-old daughter. A judge on Thursday set trial to begin Aug. 1, 2022. (Sarah Welliver)



OGDEN — The trial for an Ogden couple whose deceased 3-year-old daughter was found so malnourished that police compared her to a Holocaust victim is set to happen two years later than originally planned, in large part because of the pandemic.

Second District Judge Michael DiReda on Thursday scheduled a seven-week trial to begin Aug. 1, 2022, for Brenda Emile, 26, and Miller Costello, 29. Both have pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, a capital offense.

The judge set the trial for next summer after defense attorney Randall Marshall raised concerns about a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the fall.

When investigators arrived at the couple's Ogden home in 2017, they reported finding the couple's deceased daughter emaciated and neglected, describing her as a 13-pound skeletal figure with sunken eyes, thinning hair and little to no muscle. Police found 3-year-old Angelina Costello's cold body in a pink blanket and covered in a layer of makeup applied to disguise her injuries, court documents allege.

Prosecutors at a 2018 preliminary hearing presented photos and videos from the couple's phones that showed the child appearing increasingly bruised and injured as her two siblings remained healthy, with her mother apparently taunting her with food and her father asking if she was "evil."

The state alleges the two have ties to an itinerant community and have alternative names and addresses in multiple states.

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