WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A West Palm Beach man has been arrested on three counts of child abuse after three children were found inside a parked car Monday.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says the car was found parked at 720 Cherry Rd. with three small children ages 4, 3 and 2 inside the vehicle.
Deputies said only one window was open and the heat index was 89 degrees.
Investigators say the car was locked and the children had no food or water inside the vehicle when deputies arrived.
Deputies said they were called by a transient person who resides at an abandoned home on Cherry Road regarding the children.
The man said the suspect, later identified as Jaime Rivera, pulled into the driveway, got out of the car with the children inside, said "watch them" and then left.
The man says he knows Rivera from work but did not offer to watch the three youngsters.
Deputies said the man told Rivera that he would call 911 if he left the children with him.
A woman later showed up 30 minutes later to claim them.
Deputies say that she was texted by Rivera to pick the children up at the abandoned house and "don't ever bring them to me again".
According to a probable cause affidavit, she told deputies she and Rivera were separated and shared joint custody of the children.
Deputies said Rivera told them he sent the woman a text message about the children and left them in the car.
Rivera was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.
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