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Woodbury mom accused of neglect after reportedly taking off for ballgame

A Woodbury woman was charged with child neglect after allegedly leaving her three kids home alone while she attended a baseball game.

According to a criminal complaint, police were dispatched at 6:49 a.m. April 15, to the Bleeker Street home of Amanda Marie Jansen, 27, by the father of her 9-year-old daughter to perform a welfare check.

Police arrived to find four children - three of whom were Jansen's - at the house who "indicated they were very hungry" after having been left alone for hours without adult care, the complaint states.

Police learned that Jansen had left at noon the previous day to attend a baseball game. Soon after she left, a man named Jeff arrived to babysit the children, which included a 10-year-old friend who was along for a sleepover.

According to the complaint, the man spent most of the day drinking and lying on the couch. The children alleged the man sexually molested a 4-year-old -- accusations Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said are still being sorted out. The sexual molestation allegations remain under investigation, he said, adding that investigators are "taking it most seriously," in spite of some problems with witness statements.

The complaint states the man left the house around 10:30 p.m. after Jansen said she would be home soon. The 9-year-old tried multiple times to phone her mother unsuccessfully. The girl eventually called her father at 4:49 a.m. to let him know she and the others were left alone.

The father was also unable to reach Jansen by phone, the complaint states.

Police arrived to find the children "very hungry," having only eaten small bowls of macaroni and cheese the previous day, according to the complaint. Jansen's children were placed in the care of a family friend, while the overnight guest was united with her mother.

At about 11:30 a.m. that day, Jansen called a Woodbury investigator to inquire about her children. The investigator drove to her residence and found Jansen's vehicle in the garage, though she didn't answer her door or phone calls.

The complaint states police made entry to the home and found Jansen, who said she didn't hear the officers because she was in a downstairs bathroom throwing up.

According to the complaint, Jansen was uncertain whether to give a statement, so she was not interviewed.

She was charged with one count of child neglect, a gross misdemeanor.

Jansen, who was released from Washington County jail on April 23, makes her initial court appearance on June 10.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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