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Judge rules Bagley woman can live with her children

BEMIDJI -- The Bagley woman accused of leaving four children in a hot car last month has been allowed to move back in with the children.

Bianca Jean Hazelrigg, 21, Bagley, charged with gross misdemeanor endangerment of a child by putting them in a position that could cause them harm or death, appeared Monday before Beltrami County District Judge Paul Benshoof.

Her hearing was continued until Aug. 20, but during her appearance, Benshoof granted a request to allow Hazelrigg, who is out on bail, to move back in with her boyfriend and the four children she is accused of leaving unattended in a hot car for nearly 30 minutes.

After Beltrami County Attorney Tim Faver said he did not object to the request, Benshoof said he would allow Hazelrigg to move back in with the children but ordered her to maintain contact with Clearwater County Human Services and follow its recommendations.

"I'm willing to do anything," Hazelrigg told the judge.

Clearwater County has not initiated a CHIPS (Children in Need of Protection) case regarding the children.

Hazelrigg allegedly left four children unattended June 9 inside her car in 88-degree temperatures for 29 minutes as she shopped inside Target for swimsuits.

The two youngest children, 2-year-old twins, are biologically hers.

At her last court appearance June 18, Benshoof granted Hazelrigg supervised visitation of her children, who were then staying with a family member.

Boyfriend in charge

Since that time, all four children have moved back in with Hazelrigg's boyfriend, the biological father of the two older children, 7 and 4.

Though he is not the twins' biological father, Hazelrigg said they know him as their dad.

Once they moved in with him, Hazelrigg said, she voluntarily moved out of the home.

Since the man is not now working due to an injury, Hazelrigg said, she would not be alone with the children while living in the home.

Benshoof questioned how the man was able to care for four children if he was too injured for work.

Hazelrigg said she goes to the house before 7 a.m. each morning and stays until the oldest two are in bed. She then leaves for the night.

Benshoof said it sounded to him as if Hazelrigg had taken "matters into your own hands," regardless of whether such an arrangement was permissible by the courts.

Nonetheless, he granted her request and told her to continue working with Clearwater County Human Services.

Hazelrigg, while answering a question from Benshoof, said Clearwater County has not indicated a length of time for which it will require supervised visits with the children.

Her understanding, Hazelrigg said, was that Clearwater County was awaiting the court's decision, but Benshoof pointed out that Beltrami County does not have jurisdiction over Clearwater County Human Services.

"They're confused about it, too," Hazelrigg said.

Hazelrigg, according to statements made in court, meets weekly with Clearwater County Human Services and calls once a week to check in.

Clearwater County Human Services also makes unannounced home visits to check on the children and their home, she said.