A father, who allegedly left his young daughter alone in a parked car for hours, was located late Monday after deputies responded to a report of a young girl wandering alone in Carpinteria, officials reported.
Noe Sotelo, 39, of Carpinteria, is expected to be booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of child endangerment, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.
At around 11:30 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to the report of a 6-year-old girl crying and looking for her father near Viola Fields in the 6100 block of Carpinteria Avenue. The girl’s father allegedly left his daughter in a car after he pulled over at the park to use the bathroom, officials said.
A custodian who was working at a nearby business told deputies the girl was wandering around and asked for help.
Responding deputies were initially unable to find Sotelo, so a Sheriff’s K9 Team and a Ventura County Air Support Helicopter were called in to assist in the search. After finding a track leading to the Venoco Pier area, the air crew located Sotelo walking along the beach.
Sotelo jumped into the ocean and began swimming once being spotted by rescuers, officials said.
Members of the Carpinteria Summerland Fire Department, American Medical Response, and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel and helicopter joined the rescue at that point.
After more than an hour in the ocean, Sotelo was rescued by the Coast Guard and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
After he is medically cleared, officials said Sotelo will be booked on suspicion of child endangerment.
The girl was unharmed and later released to the custody of her mother.