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LEOMINSTER -- A Leominster mother was arraigned Friday on the charge of reckless endangerment of a child after police allege she left her infant son alone and crying in her apartment.
Stephanie J. Horne, 18, was released on personal recognizance after being arraigned, according to court documents.
A neighbor called police after hearing the 8-month-old boy crying and screaming for about an hour on Sept. 3, and witnesses reported to police Horne allegedly had left the child alone before, "sometimes ... unattended in the hallway," according to a report from Office Sean Ferguson. Ferguson heard nothing when he went to Horne's Litchfield Terrace apartment, and Horne arrived home about 30 minutes after he got there, he wrote.
"She was dressed as if she was planning to be out for the evening," he wrote. "As soon as she came up the stairs she stated, 'My baby sitter is supposed to be here.' I asked why she believed that her baby sitter was not here." Ferguson wrote during interviews with Horne and witnesses, some conflicting stories surfaced about who was watching the baby. Ferguson surmised either the baby was being watched and then left by a friend Horne allegedly described as "on a lot of medications but was (acting) really weird," or the baby was left alone the whole time. The apartment was clean, there was food and baby formula available, and the baby was sleeping and appeared healthy when Ferguson and Horne went in, he wrote, adding "The baby was the only person in the apartment."

The Department of Social Services was notified, but Ferguson reported, "After a short period of time, dispatch advised that DSS did not think this was an emergency and would not be responding."
DSS later arrived to investigate the situation, he wrote. Horne is due back in court Oct. 30 for a pretrial hearing.
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