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Mom arrested after child, 2, in shorts, shirt and boots found in bitter cold outside Grand Forks home

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News Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Officers found a 2-year-old boy wearing only a long-sleeve shirt, shorts and boots standing outside a Grand Forks home this morning when the temperature was minus 15 and the wind chill minus 38.

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The toddler was brought into a squad car to warm up, and an ambulance later transported him to Altru Hospital, according to a release from police.

The boy was checked over and is "doing fine" after spending what police suspect was a few minutes in the cold, Capt. Kerwin Kjelstrom said.

"We believe at this time that the subject, the small child, somehow got out on his own without being noticed by ... the lady in charge of the house," Kjelstrom said, adding that the boy wasn't able to get back inside the home once he was outside.

His mother, 35, was arrested for felony reckless endangerment and child abuse and neglect in connection with the incident. She was taken to the Grand Forks County jail.

Police did not immediately know the relation between the woman and the boy.

A neighbor called police at around 8:30 a.m. to the 4800 block of Silvergate Drive in the Gateway Terrace mobile home park after seeing the boy outside in the cold.

The woman arrested had apparently been drinking alcohol, Kjelstrom said, which may have been a factor in the boy going outside unnoticed.

"We're just lucky the neighbor called," he said.

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