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Charge: Mother left child on Minnesota highway after 'God told her to'

The 6-year-old girl was barefoot in the near-freezing weather.
Jaydin Pankow

A Wisconsin woman is facing a felony child endangerment charge after she left her 6-year-old girl on a northern Minnesota highway in the middle of December. 

The incident happened Dec. 10 when two people contacted the Cook County Sheriff's Office just after 10 p.m. to report finding a 6-year-old near 7700 E. Hwy. 61 in Grand Portage. 

The girl had been abandoned on the side of the road. She was barefoot and wearing tights, a jacket and no hat in near-freezing weather," the criminal complaint says. 

The complaint goes on to explain that the girl's mother, identified as Jaydin D. Pankow, 39, of Waupaca, Wisconsin, dropped her off on the side of the highway and told her, "have faith, and God bless you." 

Pankow, who was described as having blue hair and driving an old blue van, was arrested after being located traveling eastbound on Hwy. 61. 

Pankow was interviewed and claimed "God told her to leave the child on the highway in order to save her," the criminal complaint states. 

According to Waupaca Now, Pankow was arrested in May 2019 and charged with two counts of interfering with child custody when she took two children out of state without permission from either father. 

A conviction for the felony child neglect or endangerment charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. 

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