Parents 'starved their children' dog cage just out of reach of food

Clay Curtis
February 13, 2019

Sheriff's deputies discovered four malnourished children, including two locked inside a dog cage, when they responded to a domestic disturbance at a Northeast Texas home.

The two oldest children were found in a 3-by-3 dog kennel, and the other two were found on the floor of the same room covered in waste.

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.

Officers accompanied investigators with the Children's Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services when they found the three girls and one boy between the ages of 5 and 12 in a Farmington home, the publication reported.

Deputies responded to a domestic violence call about a fight between Fabila and Harkings that lasted up to five hours and were speaking with them when they heard children's voices coming from the barn, the station said.

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

Initial reports quoted Akin as saying two children were found caged in the barn and two were found in the home.

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

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

The children were found by cops who described the discovery as the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen.

Harkings, the children's mother, and was also charged with aggravated assault.

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

Fabila's face appears to be cut in numerous places in the mugshot authorities later took. However, they were inside of locked cabinets with no way for the children to unlock them. Akin called it the worst case of child abuse he has seen in his 44-year career.

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