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Sandstone day care provider pleads guilty to child neglect

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A day care provider from Pine County pleaded guilty Tuesday to a child neglect charge stemming from a June incident where a 22-month-old girl in her care wandered onto a nearby highway, WCCO-TV reports.

Carrie Ann Richardson, 56, of Sandstone, was facing gross misdemeanor counts of neglect of a child and endangerment of a child following the June 12 incident.

Richardson, who is the part owner and operator of Building Blocks Daycare, admitted to police that she was drinking vodka and cough syrup the day of the incident, the Star Tribune reports. Her blood alcohol content was measured at .11, police say.

The toddler was rescued by two residents after she was found wandering on Highway 23. Investigators say one of the people who rescued the child was a 13-year-old boy, who pulled the girl from the highway as cars swerved to avoid her.

After authorities arrived on the scene, they traced the toddler's path back to the day care.

The play area of the facility had a fence around it, but the gate was open, authorities say. The police also say Richardson was unaware that the girl went missing.

Richardson's day care license is suspended, WCCO says.

The child endangerment charge against the Richardson is expected to be dropped when she is sentenced on Dec. 13.

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