Five children, including a 1-year-old, were found on the California-Arizona border inside a wooden box fixed to the back of a pickup truck with no ventilation or water.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the children, from ages 1 to 13, were found Tuesday (May 12) afternoon inside what was described as a makeshift wooden box that was fixed to the back of a pickup in the Colorado River town of Needles. The sheriff's department said that when the children were found, the outside temperature was around 100 degrees and the box had “no ventilation, water, or air conditioning.”

“I don’t recall in over 30 years being here that I’ve ever heard of a situation quite like this,” said Cindy Bachman, the public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office.

The deputies stopped the truck at Bailey Avenue and J Street in Needles, California, after they received reports about “small children riding in the bed of a pick-up truck inside a small crate,” which was spotted along Interstate 40 near the Fenner Rest Area, west of Needles.

“The truck, the trailer—it looked a little different, but I don’t know if anything about it was actually in violation of any vehicle code,” Bachman said. “So it may [have] traveled along and not [have] been stopped by any law enforcement officer had it not been those callers.”

Three people, who are reported to be Sacramento residents, were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment. The suspects were identified as 39-year-old Zona Braiser, 40-year-old Kenneth Standridge, and 41-year-old Aushajuan Hardy.

“Illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia and a shotgun were also located in the vehicle,” the department said.

According to police, all three of them had criminal records in Sacramento County.

Brasier was arrested for an investigation over child endangerment. She was being held on a $150,000 bail. Standridge was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, and a felony for possession of a firearm and also driving under the influence of drugs. His bond was set at $75,000.

Hardy who had the longest rap sheet and a warrant for his arrest in Sacramento was taken into custody on suspicion of child endangerment. He was on post-release community supervision and was held in a no-bail felony warrant.

It was not clear if the children were related to any of the suspects. An investigation was ongoing and no further details were available at the moment.

The children were later released to the care of San Bernardino County Children and Family Services.

Representational image of a man in handcuffs.