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Woman faces charge after children found in hot car

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/all/themes/bemidjipioneer_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Woman faces charge after children found in hot car
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

BEMIDJI - A Bagley woman has been charged with child endangerment after she allegedly left her four young children unattended in a hot car for nearly 30 minutes Saturday as she shopped for swimsuits inside Target.

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Bianca Jean Hazelrigg, 21, has been charged with gross misdemeanor endangerment of a child by putting them in a position that could cause them harm or death, according to court papers.

The maximum penalty is one year in jail with a $3,000 fine.

She was arraigned in Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter. Bail was set at $5,000 without conditions and $1,000 with conditions, including that she not have contact with the children involved.

She remained in Beltrami County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

Hazelrigg requested a court-appointed attorney. Her next court date was set for 9 a.m. Monday.

"I would never harm my children," she told the court, while crying.

According to the criminal complaint, a 911 call was received at 5:20 p.m. from an individual concerned about four young children left unattended in the Target parking lot.

Upon arrival, Bemidji police officers found inside a maroon Chevrolet three children, including a 4-year-old and two 2-year-olds, who both were strapped into car seats. A 7-year-old was playing outside of the vehicle in the parking lot.

The vehicle was not running and all of the windows were closed, according to the complaint. It was 88 degrees at the time and the children in the car were "very hot to the touch and were flush and sweating," court documents state.

According to the complaint, at about 5:40 p.m., Hazelrigg approached the vehicle and said she had been in Target trying on swimsuits and that it was not a big deal to leave her children in the car because she had only been inside a few minutes.

A subsequent check of the surveillance camera at Target showed that she entered the store at 5:08 p.m. and left at 5:37 p.m.

The children were taken into Social Services custody, where they remained Tuesday afternoon.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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