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Mother Charged With Murder in Baby’s Death

February 1, 1989

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) _ A woman was charged Wednesday with murder in the dehydration death of her 6-month-old daughter, authorities say was left alone for a week while the mother went on vacation.

Peggy Ann Barsness, 22, of Burnsville was charged in Dakota County District Court with one count each of second- and third-degree murder in the death of Kirsten Barsness, said County Attorney James Backstrom. District Judge Robert Carolan set bail at $200,000.

An autopsy completed Tuesday found that the baby died from dehydration. Authorities said the girl may have been dead several days before she was found in her crib.

Barsness reported the death to police Monday, saying she had found the child dead earlier that morning after returning from visiting a boyfriend in California. She said she had arranged for a baby sitter, but was unable to provide the person’s last name, phone number or address, police Lt. Fred Rau said Tuesday.

″We’ve been able to find no information that she made any arrangements to have the baby cared for while it was home alone,″ Rau said.

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