Children, 1 and 2, “found unconscious” in car at Walmart – Pregnant mother arrested

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — Authorities say a woman was arrested after allegedly leaving her two young children inside a car parked at a San Jacinto Walmart Monday, Nov. 30.

According to a Sheriff’s Sergeant, the children, a one-year-old girl and two-year-old boy, were found unconscious within arm’s reach of methamphetamine and heroin and rushed to an area hospital for advanced care, with paramedics performing life-saving measures along the way. Their current conditions have not been updated and were not known as of this report.


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Deputies assigned to the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station responded to the Walmart parking lot around 4:42 p.m., after an alert citizen reported finding two infants that were left alone in a running vehicle outside the store, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Kevin Dorrough has since said of the incident and arrest.

According to the Sergeant, when deputies arrived they found the one and two-year-old children unconscious in a black Toyota Solara convertible; which no longer had a roof, but had duct tape and tarp in the roof’s place. Witnesses later described that the children were strapped into their car seats and that the car’s radio was blaring so loud, its music could be heard a considerable distance away.

One witness later said he believed the music was turned up so loud it was possibly meant to drown out any sounds of the two children crying, while their mother was away from the vehicle.

Two young children were found unconscious inside a car, where there mother had left them more than two hours earlier, according to a sheriff’s Sergeant; who said the children were transported to an area hospital with life-saving measure in progress. Eddie George/Hemet News – Action Eye News LIVE photo

Deputies quickly removed the children from the car, just as fire and rescue personnel were arriving and took over life-saving measures for possible exposure to carbon monoxide, according to fire officials and Dorrough; who said, “The children were taken to Hemet Valley Hospital via American Medical Response for advanced care.”

The Sergeant did not provide an update regarding the childrens’ current medical conditions, but did say their care and custody had been turned over to Child Protective Services.

The deputies later reported that while rescuing the children from the Toyota’s filthy interior, they had located methamphetamine and heroin that had been within arm’s reach of both children.

Once the children were taken from the scene by ground ambulance, deputies investigating the incident worked with Walmart security to identify the children’s mother, Sarah Maria Casciato, a 29-year-old transient from San Jacinto. Surveillance footage that was later taken as evidence indicated Casciato had left her children unattended in the vehicle for more than two hours by the time they were rescued, according to Dorrough.

Surveillance footage also helped deputies locate Casciato inside the store; at which time she was contacted and subsequently arrested.

While being searched Casciato told arresting deputies that in addition to her two other children she was pregnant with another child. Eddie George/Hemet News – Action Eye News LIVE photo

In video footage live-streamed from the Walmart parking lot by Hemet News’ Action Eye News LIVE during Casciato’s arrest, as the handcuffed woman was being escorted out of Walmart by two deputies, she could be heard crying the entire time.

On the video, (which can be viewed by clicking the link below.) one witness is heard shouting, “Ain’t no crying now, honey!” The same angry woman, as well as several other women could also be heard shouting, “You should be ashamed!”

As she was being searched outside a waiting patrol vehicle, Casciato could be heard telling deputies that in addition to her two other children, she was “four or five” months pregnant.

Casciato was later booked into Larry D. Smith Correctional on felony charges of child endangerment and causing harm to a child, as well as misdemeanor charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance along with drug paraphernalia.

Online jail records indicate Casciato remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail or bond and is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court Dec. 3.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Vanny at the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at (951) 654-2702. Callers can refer to incident file number I203350075 and can remain anonymous.

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Eddie George/Hemet News – Action Eye News LIVE photos above, video below.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.