Monday, 18 February, 2019

Texas Children Found Locked in Dog Cage, Covered In Feces

Daryl Justen Head and Laura Elizabeth Cheatham Daryl Justen Head and Laura Elizabeth Cheatham
Jeannette Daniel | 13 February, 2019, 23:10

Deputies on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, discovered two malnourished children crammed into a locked dog cage and two more smeared with feces and urine in a barn in North Texas, in what a sheriff described as the worst case of child abuse he has ever seen. 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.

Police discovered the children Tuesday in clutter and filth, with two in a crate placed in a barn converted into living space, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said.

Akin said Harkings is the biological mother of all four children, and Fabila is the biological father of one child.

Akin told reporters both the man and woman have each been charged with four counts of endangering a child.

Initial reports quoted Akin as saying two children were found caged in the barn and two were found in the home. Harkings was additionally charged with aggravated assault.

Investigators then searched the property, according to the Wise County Messenger, and found two more children, who were dirty and emaciated.

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The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Centre in Fort Worth, but a hospital spokeswoman declined to disclose their conditions.

Neighbor Amber Jester told the affiliate that she didn't know there were children at the home.

The Wise County Sheriff's office says Andrew Joseph Fabila's bond was set at $60,000 on four child endangerment charges.

While speaking with a man at the property who had injuries to his face, deputies reported hearing the voices of children. Deputies found a 24-year-old man and woman at the home when they arrived.

Fabila had to be taken to the hospital for wounds on his face before being charged but was taken to jail after his treatment.

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the agency has had contact with the family before, but at a different location.

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