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As punishment, 3 children left in desert without water

As punishment, 3 children left in desert without water

A mother and her boyfriend were arrested after they punished her three young children by leaving them in the desert in Twentynine Palms (CA) in temperatures just shy of 100 degrees on Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said.

The children — a 7-year-old girl, 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy — were discovered about 11:20 a.m. near the 74-000 block of Samarkand Drive, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Their parents were “down the road from the children,”  sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said.

Officials haven’t determined why the children were being punished, but they did not need medical treatment after they were found.

They had been in the desert for about 45 minutes without any shoes or water before a local resident alerted authorities. At the time, temperatures were about 95-100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

“The temperature was going up over the course of that hour,” said Todd Lericos, a meteorologist.

Temperatures topped off at 104 degrees and there was no wind to help cool the area, he said.

Bachman said the children were living in a truck with their mother and her boyfriend, who were all described as “local transients.”

The adults were identified as Mary Bell, 34, and Gary Cassle, 29. They were arrested on suspicion of child abuse and each one is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Morongo Basin Jail.

Both suspects are scheduled to appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Friday.

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