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Charges expected for mother of dead 4-month-old found in slough

More than 30 people from seven area agencies assisted in the 8-mile, two-day search for a 4-month-old boy who was found at the edge of a slough July 7, 2018, near Woodworth, N.D. Tom LaVenture / Forum News Service1 / 2
Justice Lange, the mother of this 4-month-old boy who was found dead after a two-day search that tragically ended Saturday, July 7, is expected to be charged in connection with the death this week. 2 / 2

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — The mother of a 4-month-old boy who was found dead in a central North Dakota slough after a two-day search is expected to be charged this week.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said the charges could be filed as early as Tuesday, July 10, depending if States Attorney Frederick Fremgen reaches a decision.

Justice Lange, 25, of Carrington, and reportedly living in Fargo, is expected to be charged in connection with the death of her son whose name is not yet being released by authorities.

Fremgen said charges are still under review and there is no timeline on the filing. He added that "appropriate charges" are being considered. Kaiser would not comment on the possible charges, but said that "Obviously the baby was out in the elements for several days."

The baby was discovered about 3 p.m. Saturday, July 7, southeast of Woodworth, which is about 40 miles northwest of Jamestown. Search crews led by Kaiser involving more than 30 people found the baby on land in some weeds.

A total of seven agencies aided in the search that stretched an 8-mile area.

Kaiser said that Lange remained in a Fargo hospital, though her condition is unknown. She was hospitalized Friday, July 6, and was still there as of Monday evening.

A farmer found Lange walking near Woodworth that Friday before driving her to Carrington, where her grandmother then called police after Lange said she had no memory of the past four days, including the location of her child.

On July 2, the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office received a welfare call for Lange and her baby from concerned family. Meanwhile, the Carrington Police Department was looking for Lange after family reported a stolen pickup.

The area Lange was found walking, the stolen pickup truck and articles of clothing belonging to Lange and her baby were all within 2 miles of the slough where the body was found.

Reporter Tom LaVenture contributed to this story.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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