California aunt nabbed carrying five children in wooden box on drug truck without water or AC in 100 degree heat
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA: Three people from California have been arrested after five children were discovered riding inside a wooden box attached to the back of a pickup truck without water or ventilation in 100-degree heat. All the three, including the children's aunt, have been charged with child endangerment.
San Bernardino Sheriff's Department officers received a report around 2 pm on Friday, May 15, about "small children riding in the bed of a pickup truck inside a small crate" that had been spotted on Interstate 40 west of the town of Needles on the California-Arizona border, the Daily Mail reported.
When officers responded to the scene, they found five children, aged between one and thirteen, sitting inside the makeshift wooden box without any access to water or air conditioning. The children did not have seat belts either. When the deputies conducted a search fo the vehicle, they allegedly discovered illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia and a shotgun, reports state.
The children, according to a relative, were heading towards Oklahoma, nearly 1,600 miles away to live with their aunt after their mother became homeless. After being rescued, the children were sent to the custody of the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services.
The three adult California residents, who were in the truck, were identified as the children's maternal aunt Zona Brasier (39), Kenneth Standridge (40), and Aushajuan Hardy (41). No other details of the nature of the relationship of the three adults have been released by the authorities yet, according to reports. However, it was revealed that two of them had previous criminal histories.
Standridge, who was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, is a felon in possession of a firearm and driving under the influence. His bail has been set on $75,000. While the children's aunt, Brasier, who was also arrested under same charges, is being held on $150,000 bail. Hardy, who was on Post Release Community Supervision, is named in a no-bail felony warrant and is being held under the same charges of suspicion of child endangerment, reports state.
Brasier's step-brother, Dale Madden, expressed shock at the children's state while talking to a local news outlet CBS 13. He said that Brasier was moving the children from Sacramento to Oklahoma after telling their homeless sister that she was going to raise her children away from a troubled home environment.
"I just couldn’t believe it," Madden said of the conditions in which his nieces and nephews were found. "One hundred-degree heat, I mean you’re going toward Arizona?" He added that he felt sad for the children but insisted that his step-sister's heart was "in the right place" as she was taking the children for a better life.
Madden also told the outlet that when his sister was taking the children from Sacramento, the five of them were sitting in the cab of the truck. It is not yet clear when or why the children were moved into the box and what were the two men doing along with the children's aunt.