Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy brings of four children found in wash to sheriff's station. photo taken by SCV Sheriff's Station deputy.
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Sheriff’s deputies placed four preschool children in protective custody Thursday after finding a homeless family living in the Santa Clara River wash Thursday afternoon.

Officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station announced the discovery Friday morning through a briefly-shared social media posting.

According to the post, deputies were alerted to four children ages three months to four years old who were reportedly living in the Santa Clara wash with their parents.

Concerned deputies responded to the location Thursday afternoon.

The children were placed in protective custody and released to the Department of Children and Family Services, while detectives conduct an investigation, the post on sheriff’s Facebook page reads.

When Crime Prevention Deputy Wilson saw the infants and toddlers living in the wash, he said: “I couldn’t just see them, and pretend like I didn’t.”

When asked about the situation, Watch Commander Lt. Bryan Aguilera said, “It’s difficult.”

And, while the children were placed in the care of county officials, the parents of the children were arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child and child endangerment, a misdemeanor, Lt. Ignacio Somoano told The Signal.

The mother and father were described by arresting deputies as transients based in Castaic.

The occupation of the 35-year-old father, Jeremiah Brinegar, was listed on the arrest report as “servant of God.”

The mother, Ashley Melanson, 24, was listed as having no occupation.

Each parent was held on $25,000 bail.

News of the family found living in the Santa Clara River wash with four young children triggered an outpouring of response from citizens in the Santa Clarita Valley wanting to help the children.

“It’s so awful,” Danica Riner told The Signal. “Is there anything we can do to help?”

Mary Cain called The Signal asking if her company based in Valencia could help in some way.

“My work wanted to reach out and help,” she said.

Kimberlee Castro also contacted the newspaper asking: “Can you possibly direct me in the direction of the appropriate person to speak to regarding helping these children or possibly fostering?”

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

 

Deputies on scene of homeless family living in the wash Thursday. photo by the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
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Comments
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  • Roger Foster

    A 24 yr old mother with four children ages three months to four years old? Maybe a few birth control pills would be in order.

  • lois eisenberg

    There for the Grace of God it could be you and your family !!

  • lois eisenberg

    Like it or not YEAH for measure H !!!

  • Jason

    People need to understand that Jeremiah and Ashley are not homeless because they have been dealt a bad hand, they are homeless because they choose to be homeless. They honestly believe that God has called them to that lifestyle. Jeremiah has a cult mentality and has led many people astray with his rogue type of Christianity. They are to be avoided, but more importantly prayed for their eyes to be opened to the truth of the God of the Bible and not their own imagination. What’s really sad is that those kids were the ones suffering. But now they’re suffering is no more and they could finally have a chance to live somewhat of a normal life.

  • Servant of Christ

    No offence but this Article was very misleading. Jeremiah and Ashley were imeadately released, and the children returned to them. I am someone who is actually close them, I know that the children never went starving, had clean clothes, were warm, and loved camping. Jeremiah and Ashley have done nothing but love everyone in this city serving them and sacrificing on their behalf. They were there because God called them there to minister to the homeless for a short season of 40 days. I praise Jesus for their lives and their obedience to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. True Faith seems cultish because it is otherworldly, it is heavenly. The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world. The Lord is using this to confront the horribly crooked legal system. We shall see mighty works of the Lord come from this. PRAISE JESUS!!! If you have any questions on how they are doing or the children call me at 6618031715.

  • kitandkaboodle

    What a coincidence that Servant of Christ sounds just like Jeremiah. After knowing this family for several years, I can safely say that children are not in a safe environment living with these two, especially when you read the post below. Anyone who thinks its ok to put their child in danger for a “short” 40 day stint preaching to the homeless is extremely delusional and needs psychiatric help! Apparently you don’t fully comprehend the dangers of 4 small children living in a wash completely vulnerable to animal and human predators, elements of weather, flooding or a small child wondering off during the night. I can’t imagine it is easy to prepare healthy meals for a family with no cooking apparatus or even use the restroom or shower! I had met this family before they had impulsively decided to have children with out regards to the fact that neither one had a job or much education and they have expected the church and the kindness of strangers to feed their family. If it is true that social services returned these children, they have done a great disservice to the health and well being of these children. I would hope that anyone who cares about the safety of these children will call the department of children and family services and make sure that this family is being properly monitored!

  • Servant of Christ

    He as well as I believe Love changes lives. Jeremiah and I sound alike because we are both being conformed into the image of Christ, if you have the same saviour as someone else your going to sound like them. Christ came for the sick and the poor. Jeremiah knows this and is not afraid to be in the midst of them with his children because that is where Jesus would be. And he knows his God is more than capable of protecting his children. As far as animal predators they were near a busy surface street so you already don’t usually have a lot of animals near those and the tent that was being used was sealed with a zipper that was too high for any of the children to reach and go wandering off in the middle of the night. And not to mention the only thing the children have ever done when they wake up in the middle of the night is immediately look for mother and father. People in homes are also vulnerable to human predators, like break-ins and robberies. And elements of weather and flooding, the water was a bit ways away from the camp site and if it flooded it would flood away from the campsite. God has this family covered. Jeremiah and Ashley have never asked for help from the body of Christ, trusting that the Lord knows their needs and that He provides for His children. They were actually able to eat a lot of fruit and pasta, oatmeal and vegetables cooked on a propane stove the Lord provided. Restroom they would just dig holes in the dirt and bury it afterwards just like the Lord has the Israelites do. And as far as showers they would use the running water the Lord provided nearby to rinse themselves. Jeremiah and Ashley counted the cost of following Jesus even if that means they lose their lives, children, all their possessions. They have given all for Him. If Christ is not more important than everything in your life including wife, husband, children, mother, father, land, and possesions than you don’t know him which is in the scriptures. Jeremiah does have a job he works for the Lord ministering 24/7 wherever he goes. Some would use the term missionary. Jeremiah and Ashley believe children are a blessing and trusted the Lord would provide and expected nothing from anyone and did not hinder the Lord’s ability in giving them children as Roger foster would suggest. I’m sorry to say kitandkaboodle but you don’t know them at all. But I’m certain they would be willing to meet with you and talk about any concerns you had. I have seen people weep and been transformed by the Love of God operating through Jeremiah and Ashley’s life!!! The are not fake. Any are willing to talk to anyone.

  • Servant of Christ

    He as well as I believe Love changes lives. Jeremiah and I sound alike because we are both being conformed into the image of Christ, if you have the same saviour as someone else your going to sound like them. Christ came for the sick and the poor. Jeremiah knows this and is not afraid to be in the midst of the them with his children because that is where Jesus would be. And he knows his God is more than capable of protecting his children. As far as animal predators they were near a surface street so you already don’t usually have a lot of animals near those and the tent that was being used was sealed with a zipper that was too high for any of the children to reach and go wandering off in the middle of the night. And not to mention the only thing the children have ever done when they wake up in the middle of the night is immediately look for mother and father. People in homes are also vulnerable to human predators, like break-ins and robberies. And elements of weather and flooding, the water was a bit ways away from the campsite so if it floods it would flood away from the campsite. God has this family covered. Jeremiah and Ashley have never asked for help from the body of Christ, trusting that the Lord knows their needs and that He provides for His children. They were actually able to eat a lot of fruit and pasta, oatmeal and vegetables, cooked on a propane stove the Lord provided. Restroom, they would just dig holes in the dirt and bury it afterwards just like the Lord had the Israelites do. As far as showers they would use the running water the Lord provide near by to rinse themselves. Jeremiah and Ashley have counted the cost of following Jesus even if that means they lose their lives, children, and all their possessions. They have given all for Him. If Christ is not more important than everything in your life including wife, husband, children, mother, father, land, and possessions than you don’t know him, which is in the scriptures. Jeremiah does have a job, he works for the Lord ministering 24/7 wherever he goes. Some would use the term missionary. Jeremiah and Ashley believe children are a blessing and trusted the Lord would provide and expected nothing from anyone and did not hinder the Lord’s ability giving them children as Roger foster would suggest. I’m sorry to say kitandkaboodle and Jason but you don’t know them at all. But I’m certain they would be willing to meet with you and talk about any concerns you may have. I have seen people weep and been transformed by the Love of God operating through Jeremiah and Ashley’s life!!! They are not fake. And are willing to talk with anyone.

  • Servant of Christ

    He as well as I believe Love changes lives. Jeremiah and I sound alike because we are both being conformed into the image of Christ, if you have the same saviour as someone else your going to sound like them. Christ came for the sick and the poor. Jeremiah knows this and is not afraid to be in the midst of the them with his children because that is where Jesus would be. And he knows his God is more than capable of protecting his children. As far as animal predators they were near a surface street so you already don't usually have a lot of animals near those and the tent that was being used was sealed with a zipper that was too high for any of the children to reach and go wandering off in the middle of the night. And not to mention the only thing the children have ever done when they wake up in the middle of the night is immediately look for mother and father. People in homes are also vulnerable to human predators, like break-ins and robberies. And elements of weather and flooding, the water was a bit ways away from the campsite so if it floods it would flood away from the campsite. God has this family covered. Jeremiah and Ashley have never asked for help from the body of Christ, trusting that the Lord knows their needs and that He provides for His children. They were actually able to eat a lot of fruit and pasta, oatmeal and vegetables, cooked on a propane stove the Lord provided. Restroom, they would just dig holes in the dirt and bury it afterwards just like the Lord had the Israelites do. As far as showers they would use the running water the Lord provide near by to rinse themselves. Jeremiah and Ashley have counted the cost of following Jesus even if that means they lose their lives, children, and all their possessions. They have given all for Him. If Christ is not more important than everything in your life including wife, husband, children, mother, father, land, and possessions than you don’t know him, which is in the scriptures. Jeremiah does have a job, he works for the Lord ministering 24/7 wherever he goes. Some would use the term missionary. Jeremiah and Ashley believe children are a blessing and trusted the Lord would provide and expected nothing from anyone and did not hinder the Lord's ability giving them children as Roger foster would suggest. I'm sorry to say kitandkaboodle and Jason but you don't know them at all. But I'm certain they would be willing to meet with you and talk about any concerns you may have. I have seen people weep and been transformed by the Love of God operating through Jeremiah and Ashley's life!!! They are not fake!! And are willing to talk with anyone.

  • Servant of Christ

    He as well as I believe Love changes lives. Jeremiah and I sound alike because we are both being conformed into the image of Christ, if you have the same saviour as someone else your going to sound like them. Christ came for the sick and the poor. Jeremiah knows this and is not afraid to be in the midst of the them with his children because that is where Jesus would be. And he knows his God is more than capable of protecting his children. As far as animal predators they were near a surface street so you already don’t usually have a lot of animals near those and the tent that was being used was sealed with a zipper that was too high for any of the children to reach and go wandering off in the middle of the night. And not to mention the only thing the children have ever done when they wake up in the middle of the night is immediately look for mother and father. People in homes are also vulnerable to human predators, like break-ins and robberies. And elements of weather and flooding, the water was a bit ways away from the campsite so if it floods it would flood away from the campsite. God has this family covered. Jeremiah and Ashley have never asked for help from the body of Christ, trusting that the Lord knows their needs and that He provides for His children. They were actually able to eat a lot of fruit and pasta, oatmeal and vegetables, cooked on a propane stove the Lord provided. Restroom, they would just dig holes in the dirt and bury it afterwards just like the Lord had the Israelites do. As far as showers they would use the running water the Lord provide near by to rinse themselves. Jeremiah and Ashley have counted the cost of following Jesus even if that means they lose their lives, children, and all their possessions. They have given all for Him. If Christ is not more important than everything in your life including wife, husband, children, mother, father, land, and possessions than you don’t know him, which is in the scriptures. Jeremiah does have a job, he works for the Lord ministering 24/7 wherever he goes. Some would use the term missionary. Jeremiah and Ashley believe children are a blessing and trusted the Lord would provide and expected nothing from anyone and did not hinder the Lord’s ability giving them children as Roger foster would suggest. I’m sorry to say kitandkaboodle and Jason but you don’t know them at all. But I’m certain they would be willing to meet with you and talk about any concerns you may have. I have seen people weep and been transformed by the Love of God operating through Jeremiah and Ashley’s life!!! They are not fake! And are willing to talk with anyone.

  • kitandkaboodle

    Unfortunately,what you write on your postings is the exact reason why people are concerned about your children. Once a person has children, those children automatically become the number one priority in the parents life. There is no excuse to put god before the health and safety of children. With that mentality, would you bring your children to a group home for child molesters if it was determined that it was god’s calling? Also taking a crap in the river and burying it is not very hygienic, especially when you use that same water to rinse the kids off. all kinds of disease causing bacteria could be in that water that could make the kids very sick. ilness in third world countries is due in large part to this very reason. Being the religious freak that you are i’m sure that you probably would not even get those children proper medical care if they did become sick, but just pray the sickness away until they they die and call it God’s will.

  • Michael McCarty

    Hey Jim Holt, Any particular reason you did not approve my comment from yesterday?