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Augusta mom charged after 4-year-old wanders away

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Augusta police say Franca Gagliano-Mcfarland now faces child endangerment charges after her four year-old daughter wandered out of their house during Wednesday night's snowstorm. Police say the little girl wandered no more than a half mile before ending up at the Augusta Qwik Mart on Western Ave, where a clerk kept her company until police arrived.

They say even though the little girl had managed to dress for the weather and was unharmed, they are pressing charges against Gagliano-McFarland because of the potential danger the child was in, having wandered so close to a four lane highway in brutal weather conditions.

Deputy Chief Jared Mills said, "This was just really a situation where a child wasn't watched like they should have been  and something really bad could have happened."

It is unclear when the mother will be in court to answer to the charges. In the meantime, police are working with DHHS and are still investigating. The child is back home with her family for the time being.