SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento family is speaking only to CBS13 after five young children were found inside a wooden box on the back of a pickup truck in Southern California.

The children are from Sacramento. Their own aunt Zona Brasier is one of three adults in the truck arrested for child endangerment. Brasier’s step-brother says the dangerous conditions the children were found in is stunning and sad.

“You know the scenario man, you can’t take kids like that,” Dale Madden said. “And that’s common sense.”

A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office photo shows the box placed over the bed the truck.

The vehicle the group was traveling in. (Credit: San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office – Colorado River Sheriffs Department)

Investigators say they found the five children, all relatives ranging in age from one to 13, riding unrestrained in triple-digit heat.

Madden says his sister was driving the children from Sacramento to Oklahoma to help raise them away from a high-risk home life. The children’s mother had recently become homeless.

“Her intentions was to you know what ‘sis, I’ll take the kids, and then later you can come visit or whatever,'” Madden said.

He was stunned to learn how the young children were found riding outside of the truck’s cab.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Madden said. “100-degree heat, I mean you’re going toward Arizona?”

Besides Brasier, 40-year-old Kenneth Standridge and 41-year-old Aushajuan Hardy from Sacramento were also in the truck and arrested. Deputies say they found illegal narcotics and a shotgun.

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“It’s just sad man, I don’t know the truck or whatever, I just know my sister, her heart was in the right place,” Madden said.

The children are now in the custody of child protective services and their aunt is in jail. The family is now trying to figure out how this all happened.

“It’s just sad man, cause my nieces and nephews, this is a sad moment right here,” Madden said.

Madden says when the children first left Sacramento they were in the cab of the truck. It’s unclear to him when they were moved to the back of the truck and into the box.

Brasier is being held on $150,000 dollars bail.