Texas Cops Rescue 4 Abused Children: 2 Smeared With Waste; 2 Locked In Dog Cage
Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said that this case is the worst instance of child abuse during his 44-year career in law enforcement.
DECATUR, TX —Texas police say they found two children locked in a dog cage and two others in a barn in what a local sheriff described as the worst case of child abuse he has ever seen.
Deputies were responding to a domestic incident in Rhome when they heard children’s voices coming from the barn, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The children’s mother and the father of one of the children were allegedly fighting. The man reportedly had cuts on his face.
When deputies searched the barn, they allegedly found an area "crudely fashioned" into a living space, the Dallas Morning News reported. Three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1, and a 4-year-old girl were found, police said.
The oldest boy and the girl were found locked in a three-foot-by-three-foot cage, and the other two children were covered in urine and feces and only partially clothed, police reportedly said. The children were allegedly malnourished.
"There was plenty of food inside the barn, but the refrigerator and the cabinets had been locked so the kids could not get in to get food," Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said, according to San Antonio's WOAI-TV.
Andrew Joseph Fabila and Paige Isabow Harkings, both 24, were each charged with four counts of criminal child endangerment, The Associated Press reported. Harkings also reportedly faces an additional charge of aggravated assault.
Akin told The Dallas Morning News that this case is the worst instance of child abuse he's witnessed during his 44-year career in law enforcement.
The children were reportedly taken to a local hospital for evaluation. So far, police have not commented on their condition.
According to The Associated Press, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said the family is known to the agency.