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Couple accused of sending 3 kids into desert as punishment

Posted at 11:48 AM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 14:48:54-04

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Authorities say a homeless couple was arrested after the woman's three young children were sent as punishment into a Southern California desert area without shoes or water.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman says the kids -- a 7-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy -- did not require medical treatment after a resident spotted them wandering Wednesday and called 911.

Responding deputies found the mother and her boyfriend a short distance up the road near Twentynine Palms, where temperatures were in the low 90s.

Bachman says 34-year-old Mary Bell and 29-year-old Gary Cassle could face charges including felony child abuse. She didn't know if they had attorneys.

The kids were taken by child protective services.

Bachman says the family had been living in their car.