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Neglect charge filed after children found in church, car

Neglect charge filed after children found in church, car

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A Bismarck mother faces charges after her children were found in a church and a car near her home, dressed only in messy diapers in 45-degree weather.

Oceane Moreland, 25, is charged with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor drug offense, court documents show. She made her initial court appearance Wednesday and is free on $2,000 bond. She can’t have any contact with the children without approval from authorities.

Police on Tuesday were called by a church worker who found two children in the building. The worker told them a similar incident occurred on Mother’s Day, according to an affidavit. Officers said they found Moreland asleep at her home and determined a third child was missing. The child was found in a car near the home. The only unlocked door on the car was the driver’s door, which meant the child had to be in the street to enter the vehicle, the affidavit says.

The child’s biological father took custody of the children, according to the affidavit.

Moreland in February was placed on probation for a year and ordered to complete a parenting class after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the deprivation or delinquency of a minor, court records show. School officials last fall called police to report cleanliness issues and scrapes and several bruises on a child. A charge of child abuse was dismissed in that case. 

Moreland’s attorney, Benjamin Pulkrabek, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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