Woman charged with child neglect

A 29-year-old Minot woman is accused of forgetting she had her baby and leaving the child locked in a car in the Target parking lot at Dakota Square Mall in Minot last summer.

Stephanie Anne Mortenson is charged with Class C felony child neglect. Mortenson is scheduled to make an initial appearance in district court in Minot next week.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Mortenson had gone to Target to buy a birthday card for her husband on Aug. 25, 2017 and left the 7-month-old baby sleeping in her car seat while she and her little boy were in the store. Someone saw the baby asleep in the car and called police. Police called Mortenson, who came out of the store. She told police that her husband had the baby girl for most of the day and had just left the baby with her. She forgot she had her daughter and left her in the car. Mortenson told police that her daughter was alone in the car for about 10 minutes before police called; store security video showed that the baby was in the car for at least 23 minutes.

No charge was filed in the case until Jan. 22, some 5 months after the incident allegedly occurred.

– Andrea Johnson