LIVERMORE, CA. (CNN) – This is the face of a three year old child peering out of the back window of a Honda accord. His 2-year old sister also strapped into a car seat inside.
The doors locked, the windows cracked and covered in blankets, why?
“We’re not sure. Maybe she was trying to conceal the kids in the car so no one else could see there was children in the car, or maybe she was trying to keep some of the heat out of the car,” said Officer Traci Rebiejo.
The man who called 911 provided us with these pictures of police and fire arriving Monday at around 6pm to find crying children.
Livermore police provided us with this picture of 37-year year old Phaley Nget of Oakland, the mother who police say left her kids in that car, while she gambled at casino 580 across the street.
“Typical call that we get is that somebody has run into the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk. This is not the case. She’s doing this for her pleasure, going and gambling, and leaving her two small kids that can’t fend for themselves in a potentially hot box,” Officer Rebiejo continued.
Police say the children had only been in the car for 35 minutes and the temperature in the car had risen to 81 degrees.
Witnesses say police found the mother in the card room. The employees were actually in tears that night and some of them had a hard time getting through their shift just at the thought that there would be children left out there by a parent.
The casino 580 manager says security in the parking lot would have spotted the car instantly, but across the street in the lot of a business after hours.
It was perhaps good fortune someone noticed. The children were okay, they were taken into child protective custody. The mother is facing child endangerment charges.