AMHERST, NY - An Amherst mother has been indicted in the death of her eight-year-old daughter.
Officials tells 2 On Your Side that Candace Croff Cartagena is accused of killing her daughter Bianca Cartagena in November 2010.
Candace Cartagena, presently of Rochester, was arraigned on murder in the 2nd degree on Wednesday in front of Erie County Court Judge Michael D'Amico.
Bianca was found dead at her mother's home on Greengage Circle in Amherst on November 30, 2010. The child had been living with her grandparents, but was spending a few nights with her mother before she was to leave for Disney with her father. The parents were going through a divorce at the time.
"It's bittersweet, obviously I'm happy they indicted her, however, nothing is going to bring back my daughter. I'd trade it all in a heartbeat, just to get my daughter back," said Ruben Cartagena.
When the child was discovered dead, Candace Croff Cartagena was found in an outdoor shed with what police described at the scene as a "self-inflicted illness." She was treated at ECMC for several weeks before leaving the area.
The original autopsy determined Bianca died of asphyxiation, however the manner of death was deemed to be "undetermined" by the Erie County Medical Examiner. A second autopsy report concluded the death to be homicidal asphyxia.
Cartagena is also accused of falsely claiming dependents on her 2010 NYS tax return.
Candace Cartagena could face a maximum of 25-years to life if convicted of the murder charge.