A mother and her boyfriend were taken into custody for punishing three children by abandoning them in the desert in Twentynine Palms, California, on Wednesday.
The temperatures on the day in question touched nearly 100 degrees.
Mary Bell and Gary Cassle were held on Thursday at the Morongo Basin Jail in Joshua Tree.
The children of ages 5, 6 and 7 years were found abandoned near the 74-000 block of Samarkand Drive at about 11:20 a.m., as reported by the Desert Sun. According to sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, their parents were “down the road from the children.”
According to reports from the National Weather Service, Wednesday’s maximum temperature was recorded to be 104 degrees without wind. The children had spent almost 45 minutes in the desert without food or shoes. According to Bell and Cassle, the children were left in the desert for disciplinarian purposes. It has not been made clear why the children were being punished.
Upon their discovery, the officials found the children did not require medical treatment.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Bell and Cassle are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. The couple are scheduled to appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Friday.
It is the second incident in less than a month in High Desert community that involves arrests with regard to child abuse accusations, KHOU reorts. Last month, as many as seven children were found living in a Foothill Drive home that officials said was “uninhabitable.” There was no food in the home, water covered the floors as a result of blocked plumbing and animal feces were found on the floor of the bedroom when the children slept. Rats and roaches were also found in parts of the house.