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Dave Roepke, Published August 21 2010

Fargo woman accused of neglecting 2-year-old son

Accused of leaving her 2-year-old son alone for more than six hours while she went out drinking, a 23-year-old Fargo mother is charged with child neglect.

Melanie Ann Olson was charged Friday in Cass County District Court with abuse or neglect of a child, a Class B felony.

A police report filed with court records alleges Olson left her apartment at 1920 21st Ave. S. shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday, heading to a bar to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Olson told police she left the boy on her bed, where he usually sleeps, according to the report. Asked if she had left the boy home alone before, she said she had “about a year ago.”

Sgt. Mark Lykken said police were called by Olson at 3:33 a.m. on Friday when she couldn’t get inside her apartment. She told police she left her keys and purse in a friend’s car, according to the police report.

The son was found asleep on the floor of the bedroom, blocking the door. “It appeared that he may have been trying to get out of the room,” wrote Officer Patrick Fylling in the report.

Olson told police her son is tall enough to open the door to the bedroom and would have been able to get out into the rest of the apartment, according to the report.

A sister of Olson brought over a key to get inside the apartment around 4 a.m. The same sister agreed to take care of the boy for the time being, according to court documents.

Olson was taken to the Cass County Jail. A phone message left for her wasn’t returned.

In an initial appearance in court Friday, bail was set at $4,000 bond or $400 cash, and Olson was ordered to follow any social services recommendations.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535