Skip to main content

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. 

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

money hundred dollar bills

Chanhassen psychologist pleads guilty to $550K billing fraud

Charles Howard Jorenby, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court late last month.

police lights squad car

Charges: Coon Rapids man had 25 pounds of cocaine from Mexico

Luis Javier Avila-Lopez, 38, was arrested after law enforcement seized the cocaine earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

Related

police lights

Child abandoned outdoors on North Shore, mother later arrested

The 6-year-old wasn't dressed in winter clothing.

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.

Reggie Bethel

Charges: Boy, 11, died after horrific assault at hands of MN man

The 11-year-old boy died days after being airlifted to a hospital in Fargo.

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 8.00.32 AM

Charges: St. Paul woman beat 2-year-old daughter to death

The 29-year-old admitted to losing her temper, saying she kept hitting the girl.

Angelo Borreson

Charges: Man killed woman after she told him to hurry up

The deadly incident happened on New Year's Day morning.

Ryan Feine

Minnesota man sentenced in 'horrendous' child pornography case

The 35-year-old will serve 38 years in prison.

Minneapolis police

Child abuse charges: 2-year-old dies, 4-month-old's shocking injuries

The 25-year-old woman's 2-year-old boy died and her 4-month-old boy was found to be suffering from extensive injuries.

Phillip Miller

Benton County prosecutor charged with sexual assault of teenager

Phillip Miller has been charged with varying levels of sexual assault charges.