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Charges: Woman Left 4 Children Inside Hot Vehicle Nearly 30 Minutes

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 21-year-old woman from Bagley is accused of leaving her four children in a car at a parking lot while going into a Target store to shop for swimsuits while it was almost 90 degrees outside, according to charges filed Wednesday in Beltrami County Court.

Bianca Jean Hazelrigg was charged with one count of child endangerment in connection with the incident.

According to a complaint, the Beltrami County Dispatch Center received a call at about 5:20 p.m. last Saturday from a witness at the scene who said they were concerned about four children who were left unattended in a car at the Target parking lot in Bemidji.

When officers arrived, three children were inside the vehicle and the fourth was playing in a nearby cart return near the car. The children inside the car were a 4-year-old and two 2-year-olds. A 7-year-old was near the cart return.

The complaint states it was about 88 degrees outside at the time of the incident, and the children appeared to be hot to the touch and were flush and sweating. It was also very hot inside the vehicle.

About 20 minutes after the incident was called into authorities, Hazelrigg came out to her vehicle. She told police she had been inside the store trying on swimsuits and that it wasn’t a big deal that she left her children in the car because she had only been inside the store for a few minutes, according to the complaint.

A check of surveillance footage showed she entered the store at 5:08 p.m. and left at 5:32 p.m., a total of 24 minutes.

If convicted on the charge, Hazelrigg faces up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

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