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Children left alone in SUV for 15 hours found hungry, dehydrated

Two hungry, dehydrated Bay Area children were discovered alone in a parked SUV this week after having been left inside for roughly 15 hours while their father allegedly visited a friend, police said.

The 10-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy were discovered after a neighbor called Milpitas police to report a suspicious Ford Explorer that had been parked across the street since 10 p.m. Tuesday, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Police Sgt. Raj Maharaj told the newspaper that the children were hungry, dehydrated and looked like they hadn’t bathed in a few days.

Officers bought the siblings McDonald’s food on the way back to the police station, he added. The SUV was towed after officers conducted surveillance on the vehicle, but the father, Julio Reyes, failed to turn up.

Reyes was arrested the following night after he called the Milpitas Police Department at 11:22 p.m. to report his SUV and children missing, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"He knew that he left them in that location ... he went to visit a friend," Maharaj told the paper.

The children were taken into protective custody and later transferred to the custody of the Department of Family and Children's Services while their mother was notified.

Reyes was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail on felony child endangerment charges.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

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