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Fargo mother, neighbor charged after children found alone on streets

FARGO -- A Fargo woman, and the neighbor she put in charge of watching her kids, both face a felony child neglect charge after the three children, all under the age of 6, were found walking alone on South University Drive in September.

Charges were filed Thursday in Cass County District Court against the mom, Lesley Carol Youngbird, and Friday in District Court against Ashley Hahn.

Hahn, a neighbor across the hall, was to check in on the children every hour while Youngbird went out drinking for the night, according to police reports.

Both women were staying at a YWCA transitional housing facility in south Fargo.

Neither Youngbird nor Hahn has been held on the charges, said officials at the Cass County Jail. A current phone number couldn't be found for either woman.

The children - twins who are 5-years-old and a 2-year-old - were found about 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 6 walking alone in the 2600 block of South University Drive.

When authorities spoke with them, the children weren't able to say what their last names were or who their mother was.

They were taken into protective custody after the incident, according to a police report filed with the criminal charges.

Police reports state that Hahn told investigators she checked in on the kids 12 or 13 times between about 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But Hahn told police she was changing her newborn baby's diapers shortly after 6 a.m., when surveillance video shows Youngbird's children leaving the building. The three kids came back inside for their coats, the video shows, and are seen walking out of camera view at about 6:12 a.m.