POLICE BEAT

Winterport woman charged with leaving toddler home alone

Posted March 03, 2011, at 12:46 p.m.
Last modified March 03, 2011, at 4:11 p.m.

WINTERPORT, Maine – - A woman has been charged with child endangerment after allegedly leaving her toddler home alone Monday morning.

A Waldo County deputy had gone to the home of Rachel Gardner, 25, to serve her with a subpoena, but no one answered the door. However, Deputy Darren Moody could see a 2- or 3-year-old child watching television through the windows.

He continued to knock, loudly, on the door, but still no one responded, Chief Deputy Robert Keating said Thursday morning.

So Moody called the Waldo County Regional Communications Center to see if he could get a number to reach a family member on the phone.

He did so, and that family member said that Gardner “should be right there,” Keating said.

As Moody got off the phone, a car pulled into the driveway with Gardner behind the wheel.

He asked who was home with the child, and she told him that her girlfriend was, Keating said. Moody said that he needed to speak with the girlfriend, and Gardner went into the home and then came back out, telling him that the woman had fallen asleep.

Moody said that she needed to wake the girlfriend up, and then Gardner said that there was nobody else in the home. She told the deputy that she had left the baby alone while she quickly ran to the store.

Moody then issued her a summons for child endangerment and notified the Maine Department of Health and Human Services about the situation.

He then waited for Gardner to contact somebody else to come to the house, telling her that he wasn’t going to leave until there was another responsible adult at the home.

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