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Sisters arrested after dropping off 2 young children at California fire station and then leaving

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ALTA, California (KOVR) — A pair of sisters from Reno were arrested after they reportedly left two young children at a fire station in Placer County, then kept on driving.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says the sisters pulled up at the Cal Fire station in the community of Alta on Tuesday. Two children, age 2 and 4, were then dropped off and the pair left.

One of the station’s employees was able to take a photo of the pair’s car as they drove away. Deputies located the sisters in Roseville later that afternoon. They had another child – an 8-year-old – with them at the time, the sheriff’s office says.

The sisters were then arrested on child endangerment charges. They have been identified as 47-year-old Ananda Bowman and 45-year-old Chanda Cleveland.

Deputies say Cleveland is the grandmother of the two children dropped off in Alta and the mother of the 8-year-old. She reportedly had custody of all three at the time the two children were left at the station.

California has a safe surrender law that allows a parent or whoever holds custody of a baby to surrender them under confidentiality. Some may wonder if the situation in Placer County applies. One law expert said in order for the safe surrender law to apply, you have to go through the proper channels.

“Each county and each city have different ways on how to work this and implement this. You have to do a little more than drop children off and leave,” said Sacramento legal expert Mark Reichel. “They didn’t really go far enough. You have to participate further to get the benefits, to not get charged with abandoning children.”

All three children are now in Child Protective Services custody and were physically OK, the sheriff’s office says. Authorities are working to try and get the children back to their family in Reno.

Wednesday evening, Cleveland was being transferred from Roseville to the jail in Auburn, where she was expected to be released on bail. Bowman had already been released on bail.

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