PINE CITY, Minn. - A daycare provider from Sandstone is charged with two felonies after a child she was supposed to be watching wandered out onto a highway.
Pine County prosecutors charged 56-year-old Carrie Ann Richardson Friday with child neglect and child endangerment, saying her use of alcohol and prescription drugs contributed to the toddler leaving her property and wandering onto State Highway 23.
Sheriff's deputies were called to a home in Sandstone on June 12 after several 911 calls reporting the girl wandering in traffic. When deputies arrived they found a good samaritan with 22-month-old Kaylee Matson in her arms. Deputies began searching to determine where the child came from and soon came upon Building Blocks Daycare, where they found an open gate and nine children playing as Richardson worked in her garden.
A deputy asked Richardson how many children were supposed to be at the daycare. She counted the kids who were there, and told him nine. The deputy told her she was supposed to have ten, and asked if she knew where the tenth was. According to the criminal complaint, she answered "no... do you?"
Investigators noticed that Richardson smelled of alcohol, and her blood alcohol content measured .114, making her legally drunk. Deputies say in a voluntary statement the suspect told them she had consumed three or four glasses of wine. When they couldn't locate the wine bottle she changed her story, saying she had been drinking vodka. When asked why, Richardson allegedly told authorities she was having a bad day, and was stressed about an upcoming vacation and garage sale.
A search also located a nearly empty bottle of prescription cough medicine, which contains codeine. Richardson allegedly admitted she had consumed four doses, well above the recommended amount.
Carrie Ann Richardson is not currently in custody. If convicted she could face one year in prison on each criminal count.
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