Children found locked in dog cage in barn, Texas deputies say

Sergio Conner
February 13, 2019

The three boys and one girl ranged in age from 1 to 5, and didn't say much when police arrived at the home near Rhome, authorities said.

Wise County jail records show Andrew Joseph Fabila and Paige Isabow Harkings are each charged with four counts of criminal child endangerment.

Officials said Cheatham and Head were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk as well as three counts of kidnapping, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Food was also found inside the home but it had been locked away and out of the reach of the children, WFAA reported, adding that deputies fed the children before they were sent to the hospital.

CNN affiliate KTVT reported that the two oldest children, ages 5 and 4, were the ones locked in dog crates.

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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Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings, both 24, were arrested on Tuesday in Wise County, Texas when police made the gruesome discovery while responding to a domestic disturbance at their home.

The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Centre in Fort Worth, but a hospital spokeswoman declined to disclose their conditions. While officers were speaking with the pair about the potential family violence, they heard children inside. All of them were said to be malnourished and covered in waste.

The woman is the mother of all four children and the man is father of one of them, Akin told the newspaper. "You'd think that, being right across the street we would know something", she told CBS Dallas.

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. You'd like to say you would do something.

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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