IRVINE ( — A 33-year-old man is in custody after police say he left his 11-month-old daughter strapped in her car seat – but not in a car — in the Irvine Valley College parking lot.

Jason Richard Buchea was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment Monday after passersby found the girl still in her car seat in the campus parking lot. Police say the baby was not in a vehicle and there were no adults nearby claiming to be responsible for her.

The girl appeared to be in good condition, but was taken to Hoag Hospital in Irvine as a precaution, police said. She was later taken into protective custody.

During their investigation, Irvine police detectives learned Buchea – who works at the college as a temporary employee — had called the Costa Mesa Police Department to report his daughter missing. After speaking to the detectives, Buchea was arrested.

The girl’s mother, who is a student at the school, was not arrested.

Buchea is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.


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