Children found malnourished and locked inside dog kennel at Texas home


Authorities found four malnourished children, all under 5-years-old, in a barn near the house.

The parents, Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings, both 24, face four charges of child negligence, authorities said.

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.

There was food inside the makeshift home but the refrigerator and cabinets had been locked.

As deputies were talking to the duo, they heard children's voices and found two children, 4 and 5, inside the kennel.

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.

They were all transported to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for evaluation and the 24-year-old male was also taken to the hospital for the wounds on his face.

According to a WFAA report, authorities in Wise County received a call at about 7:20 a.m. on February 12 about a violent incident involving a man and a woman at a house off County Road 4930 near Newark, located about 30 miles north of Fort Worth.

Sheriffs said the children looked very malnourished. Deputies fed the kids and gave them water before taking them to the hospital, according to the sheriff's office.

Andrew Joseph Fabila is the father to one of the children, Harkings is the mother to all four of the children. "It's a metal shop top building with some living quarters fashioned in one end of it ... this is at the top of the list of worst cases as far as children and how they're kept".

Jester was not aware there were any children in the home. "They were punished", said Akin. "I guess you never know what people are doing inside their homes".

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.