Parents Arrested After 2 Kids, Ages 1 and 2, Left Alone for Hours at Lake Elsinore Motel: Sheriff’s Department

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Two young children were found by themselves at a motel in Lake Elsinore, and their parents were both allegedly under the influence of different substances when authorities contacted them, officials said Wednesday.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department released this booking photo of Joseph Salas.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department released this booking photo of Joseph Salas.

Deputies initially responded on Tuesday to a report a 1-year-old walking alone in a motel parking lot in the 31700 block of Casino Drive, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The child was wearing only a diaper at the time.

Deputies picked up the baby and then noticed the door to a motel room was open. Inside, they found a 2-year-old alone, sheriff’s officials said.

While authorities were trying to locate the children’s parents, their father showed up.

Joseph Salas, 50, of Temecula, was taken to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station, as were the two children, according to the statement. Salas was allegedly under the influence of marijuana at the time.

A short time later, the mother — 32-year-old Tamara Ross of Temecula — arrived at the station. She was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when she drove there, the department said.

Investigators said they determined the two youngsters had been left alone for more than three hours.

Salas was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and being under the influence of marijuana in public; Ross was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and DUI, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Child protective services was called to take custody of the two juveniles.

Authorities continue to investigate, and anyone with more information is asked to call Cpl. Brown at 951-245-3300 or sheriff’s dispatch at 951-776-1099.

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