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Tot left in van her 'biggest mistake'

A 25-year-old Goffstown mom said the most horrible thing she's ever done in her life is to leave her 2-year-old daughter asleep in the family minivan when she scooted into the grocery store with her 8-year-old Tuesday afternoon.

Eleven minutes into the store, Sarah Jordan said she received a call from Goffstown police to return to her van, where she had left the toddler sleeping.

"I'm not a horrible person. I love my daughter. I love all my kids, and I made a bad mistake," Jordan told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "It was the biggest mistake in my life."

Police charged her with endangering the welfare of her child. She was arrested in front of her children, brought to the station to be booked and then released on her own recognizance. She's scheduled to appear in Goffstown District Court Aug. 6 to answer the charge.

Police said the outside temperature at the time was 93 degrees, and the 2-year-old was red and sweating. Goffstown police Lt. Pierre Pouliout said the child could be in much worse shape if left in the van for a few additional minutes.

Jordan said she was distracted because her neighbor on Daniel Plummer Drive had been burglarized, and police were in the neighborhood asking questions.

She was thinking about whether to get a home security system as she made her way to the Hannaford supermarket on Mast Road with her 2- and 8-year-old daughters.

The younger child fell asleep, and Jordan and the older girl jumped out of the minivan to get dinner in the supermarket.

The stay-at-home mom said media reports are making her into a horrible mother, which she said she's not.

She said she spoke with child protective workers at the state Division of Children, Youth and Families. They plan to visit her and take a statement. Her 2-year-old remains in the family's care.

Jordan said she used her cellphone to determine she was in the store for 11 minutes.

She said she is glad she cracked her windows before getting out of the van — something she usually does to keep the interior from overheating.

Trace Adkins
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