Mother indicted for 2010 death of her 8-year-old daughter

May 8, 2013

An Erie County Grand Jury has indicted a 34-year-old woman in connection with the 2010 death of her 8-year-old daughter. 

Candace Cartagena -- formerly of East Amherst -- was arraigned Wednesday on two sealed indictments.  Her daughter Bianca died of asphyxiation. An autopsy later revealed she had been murdered. 

Cartagena is accused of second-degree murder. She is also charged with falsely claiming children who were not hers in her 2010 state tax return to obtain benefits. 

Since the child's death, family members suspected the mother's involvement and pleaded for investigators to make an arrest.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita is not commenting on the case. In a written news release, Sedita stated "every case and every investigation is different. It is more important to make sure the investigation is truly completed and to get the case right rather than to prematurely present it to the Grand Jury." 

After the death of her daughter, Cartagena moved to Rochester.

If convicted on the murder charge, she faces a maximum prison term of 25-years to life in prison.