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Brawley man, 43, arrested after sons allegedly left alone without food, money

August 01, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A 43-year-old man reportedly despondent over the recent death of his wife was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child abandonment after he allegedly left his teen-age sons alone for three weeks without food or money.

Juan Manuel Sepulveda of Brawley was booked into county jail late Tuesday and remained there this morning with his bail set at $35,000.

His arrest came after police received a call that Sepulveda's sons, ages 15, 17 and 19, were alone in an apartment in the 400 block of N. 13th St.

While the 19-year-old is an adult and remained on his own today, the two younger sons were taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services, where they remained this morning.

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Brawley police Lt. Henry Graham said the three sons, whose identities were not available, had been alone about three weeks.

Graham said none had a job and no way to support themselves, adding the sons reportedly had no contact with their father since he had left.

Graham said the sons had been surviving thanks to neighbors who had been feeding them. Graham added he thinks it was a neighbor who finally called police.

Officers responded to the home shortly after 5 p.m. It was while police were there that Sepulveda drove by the apartment.

Graham said he was not driving to the apartment. He was simply driving by it.

Police learned Sepulveda had been staying at another apartment in the 300 block of B Street, Graham said, adding Sepulveda reportedly left his sons because he was distraught over the death of his wife, who died in May.

The cause of her death was unavailable this morning.

Police were continuing to investigate the case.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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