PINE CITY, Minn. - A Pine County daycare has been closed and the daycare provider is facing charges after a 2-year-old was found wandering down a busy highway.
Deputies were dispatched to a location on State Highway 23 and Ash Street near the city of Sandstone Wednesday afternoon just after 3:30 p.m. following a series of 911 calls reporting a toddler walking in the traffic lanes of the busy highway.
When they arrived deputies found the child in the arms of a good samaritan who had rescued her from the highway. The woman told them that at least one vehicle had been forced to swerve around the child.
Squads canvassing the area looking for the child's home came upon a daycare approximately one block from where the little girl was found. The daycare had a fenced play area with 9 other children inside, and the deputy immediately noticed that the gate to the play area was standing open.
Law enforcement made contact with the daycare provider and learned that a child was missing. That child was subsequently identified as the child found wandering on Highway 23.
While talking with the daycare provider deputies observed indications that she was intoxicated, then performed field sobriety tests on her.
Pine County Child Protection arrived on scene and immediately ordered the Ddycare closed. Parents of all children at the facility were notified and retrieved their children before authorities cleared the scene.
A Pine County Deputy Sheriff says the daycare is licensed by the county. It is unclear whether the owner has any previous violations.
The incident remains under investigation and will be referred to the Pine County Attorney for potential charges.
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