The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Three Children Left in Desert as Punishment

July 14, 2016

29 PALMS, Calif – On Wednesday, July 13, at approximately 11:22 in the morning, deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff - Morongo Basin Station responded to a report of three found children near the 74000 block of Samarkand Drive. This is a mixed residential and desert area.

During the investigation it was found that the mother of the three children was Mary Bell (age 34) and that her boyfriend was Gary Cassle (age 29). Cassle and Bell had left the three children, ages 5, 6 and 7, by themselves in the desert for disciplinary purposes. The children were found to be without water and shoes.

Bell and Cassle were arrested for PC 273D, Child Abuse and are being held at the Morongo Basin Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175.

Persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at

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