Texas children found in dog cage

Cheryl Sanders
February 13, 2019

Authorities were responding to reports of domestic violence at a residence in Wise County when they made the disturbing discovery after 7:20 p.m., according to the Wise County Messenger.

Inside the barn, deputies found two children locked in a dog kennel who showed signs of malnutrition and two others who also appeared to be malnourished and were only partially clothed and smeared with feces and urine.

A sheriff says four malnourished children were found in a barn outside a rural North Texas home, just feet away from plentiful food kept under lock-and-key.

A 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl were discovered inside a 3-foot by 3-foot cage, while the two other boys, ages 3 and 1, were discovered inside the home. Deputies arrested Harkins and Fabila on four counts of child endangerment each and took them to the Wise County Jail, Johnson said.

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

"I've not worked one where children are locked inside a dog kennel, and I find that absolutely disgusting", he said.

"The four children have been taken to Cook's (Children's Medical Center) in Fort Worth to be examined", Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Law enforcement found the children earlier in the day on the property near Rhome, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Fort Worth.

Akin didn't describe the state of the children except that they were malnourished. She declined to share details of their condition and treatment.

Andrew Joseph Fabila is the father to one of the children, Harkings is the mother to all four of the children.

While speaking with a man at the property who had injuries to his face, deputies reported hearing the voices of children.

He says the children's parents were home and that they had been fighting.

The couple has had contact with the Department of Children Services before Tuesday's investigation, according to DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

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