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Woman Arrested After 8 Children Found Alone

A Costa Mesa woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of felony child neglect and child endangerment when police responded to a tip from a neighbor that several young children had been left unattended at an apartment, a police spokesman said.

Stephanie K. Young, 23, who identified herself to police as the children’s baby-sitter, was being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, Costa Mesa Police Lt. Allan Kent said.

Kent said officers went to an apartment in the 1500 block of Coriander Drive, where, according to a neighbor, a woman baby-sitter had left eight children alone for about an hour.

When no one answered the door, the officers looked in a window and saw “a 3 1/2-month-old baby lying on a bed,” Kent said.

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Officers entered through a window, and found seven more children, ranging in age from 5 months to 17 months, he said. Five of the children were in cribs and two were on the floor.

Young was arrested when she returned to the apartment and identified herself as the children’s baby-sitter, he said.

“There were no signs of abuse that we can tell at this point; however, a lot of children needed change of diapers,” Kent said. “We utilized our civilian report writers . . . to change diapers” and watch the children with a uniformed officer until all the parents had picked up their children.

Kent added that Young, who reportedly has been taking money for baby-sitting, is not a licensed baby-sitter and does not have a permit to conduct a day-care operation in Costa Mesa.

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