TWENTYNINE PALMS (AP) — Authorities say a homeless couple was arrested after the woman’s three young children were sent as punishment into a 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.

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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.

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The kids were taken by child protective services.

Bachman says the family had been living in their car.

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