(St. Peter, MN) – A St. Peter woman faces criminal charges, accused of leaving her two young children home alone while she visited her boyfriend in jail.

Taylor Jo Anne Johnson, 24, was charged Wednesday in Nicollet County Court with neglect of a child, a gross misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman called police in September asking for a welfare check on her two grandchildren.  The woman said her 6-year-old granddaughter was on the phone with her father, saying she was home alone with her 1-year-old brother.

Court documents say the responding officer could hear a child crying hysterically inside the home.  A metal latch locked the door from the outside, and police reports say the door could not be opened from the inside.  Police say the 6-year-old was still on the phone with her father, and was very concerned her mother would find out and hit her.

Police determined Johnson was at the jail to visit her boyfriend.  They radioed communications to locate Johnson at the jail and tell her to return home.

Johnson told detectives in an interview the following day that she had made a mistake leaving the children alone but claimed “Beverly” was supposed to be at the house watching the kids.  Johnson said she’d called Beverly twice before she left for the jail.   Detectives say Johnson admitted she had never called Beverly when they asked to see her phone logs.

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