Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

North Texas Children Found Malnourished and Living in a Dog Cage

North Texas Children Found Malnourished and Living in a Dog Cage

A search of the property turned up four children between the ages of 1 and 5.

Andrew Joseph Fabila and Paige Isabow Harkings, both 24, were charged with four counts of criminal child endangerment, Wise County jail records showed.

Harkings was also charged with aggravated assault, and Fabila was taken to an area hospital to have "numerous lacerations on his face" treated before being jailed, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Johnson said food was kept just out of reach of the children in a refrigerator that had three straps on it to lock it. Two of the old children were locked in a 3-by-3-foot (90-by-90 centimeter) cage, while two younger children were found outside the cage but only partially clothed and smeared with feces and urine.

Deputies discovered two malnourished children crammed into a locked dog cage and two more smeared with feces and urine in a barn in North Texas Tuesday.

"All of them were filthy, covered in fecal material and appeared to be in a state of neglect", Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said.

Akin did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press, but he told The Dallas Morning News it's the worst case of child abuse he has seen in his 44 years in law enforcement.

The four children found in the home on County Road 4930 between Newark and Rhome were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth and are in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The Rhome incident recalls a case in August 2017 when police said a Missouri couple had locked four children inside makeshift boxes made out of plywood and screws inside a home. Deputies fed the kids and gave them water before taking them to the hospital, according to the sheriff's office. Fabila had cuts to his face.

"You'd think that being right across the street we would know something", said neighbor Amber Jester, CNN reported.

She claimed that she and her 12 siblings were being held against their will by their parents, would often leave them shackled and taunt them with food. "I guess you never know what people are doing inside their homes".

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