Posted at: 06/17/2013 1:37 PM
Updated at: 06/17/2013 8:55 PM
By: Maricella Miranda

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Minn. Day Care Owner Charged After Girl Found on Highway


Photo: MGN Online

A day care owner in Sandstone, Minn. has been charged with neglect and endangering a child after a 2-year-old was found walking along a highway.

Carrie Ann Richardson, 56, of Sandstone, was charged in Pine County District Court in connection with the incident, according to the criminal complaint.

Click here to read the complaint.

The woman allegedly was drunk at the time.

Authorities responded to a 911 call at 3:41 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, reporting that a passersby found the girl walking in the traffic lane of State Highway 23 in the area of Oriole Street West, the complaint said. It was unclear who the child belonged to.

Deputies arrived at the scene within minutes and found the child with a woman who was passing by, the charges said. From her house's window, the woman told deputies that she saw the child walking on the highway and that a black truck almost hit the girl.

She ran out of the house and removed the child from the road, she told authorities. Deputies then canvassed the area looking for the child's home.

Authorities found the Building Blocks Daycare, 1214 Ash Ave., about a block from where the child was found. The day care had a fenced yard where multiple children were playing, the complaint said. The fence's gate was open and a woman was gardening in the yard.

The deputy asked the woman, identified as Richardson, how many children were supposed to be at the day care, the complaint said. Richardson counted the children out loud, counting nine. The deputy informed Richardson about the missing girl.

The girl will turn 3 years old in August.

Richardson said she was supposed to have 10 children. The woman appeared "slightly confused and her answers to questions were slow," according to the complaint. Richard's eyes also appeared glossy, and she smelled of alcohol.

Richardson initially said she was drinking cough syrup with codeine, the charges said. She then told deputies she was drinking wine, and later said she was drinking vodka.

Richardson's blood-alcohol content was .114, according to the charges.

A social worker told Richardson that she had to close the day care. Richardson told authorities she was stressed because she was going on vacation and planning a garage sale, the complaint said. Richardson said she had drank four mixed vodka drinks.

She said she began drinking at 12:45 p.m. because she was having a bad day, the complaint said. She also told authorities that she had taken cough medicine.

The charges against Richardson are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both. No additional charges are expected to be filed, authorities said.