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Fargo mom accused of exposing 1-year-old daughter to meth

FARGO - A 19-year-old Fargo woman facing a child neglect or abuse charge is accused of exposing her 1-year-old daughter to methamphetamine, traces of which were found in the girl's hair, according to court documents.

Amber Marie Helps faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the Class C felony filed Monday in Cass County District Court.

According to the police report, an officer was called June 25 to a rental house in the 1400 block of First Avenue North.

A Cass County Social Services worker had been in the basement apartment and was concerned that the living conditions were hazardous for the child.

The police report describes rotten food in containers on the kitchen counter, at least eight full garbage bags next to the refrigerator, a dirty floor with dirty clothes on it and a dirty bathroom with a toilet that didn't work.

In the kitchen, the furnace for the entire house had exposed wires that would be accessible to anyone, "especially an exploring child," the report says.

The social worker took the 1-year-old girl into protective custody. Her hair tested positive for meth exposure within at least the previous 90 days, as did Helps' hair, the report says.

Helps also was charged July 3 with possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, both misdemeanors. A warrant for her arrest on those charges was issued July 5.

Helps does not have a listed phone number, and court files don't list an attorney for her.