Four Malnourished Children - Two Locked in Dog Crate - Found on Texas Property

Daryl Justen Head and Laura Elizabeth Cheatham

Sheriff's deputies found two malnourished children locked inside a dog kennel and another two children, who also exhibited symptoms of abuse, at a home in Texas early Tuesday morning, police said.

Wise County deputies discovered the children after receiving a report of domestic violence at a residence in Newark, about 30 miles north of Fort Worth.

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

Akin said the children were starving and that a plentiful supply of food had been locked inside cabinets and a refrigerator in the barn.

The children were taken to a hospital in Fort Worth for evaluation, and are in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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

Neighbors told CBS 11 the couple may have been on the property for three or four weeks, but they had never seen any signs of children living there. Two were locked in 3-by-3-foot (90-by-90 centimeter) cages, while two younger children were found outside the cage but only partially clothed and smeared with feces and urine.

"The others appeared malnourished, covered in urine and feces", Akin said, the Wise County Messenger reported.

Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, were arrested shortly after and charged with almost 50 counts of child abuse, torture and false imprisonment.

The man was hospitalized for an injury to his face, the NBC affiliate reported.

The woman is the mother of all four children and the man is father to one of them, he told the newspaper.

Fabila's face appears to be cut in numerous places in the mugshot authorities later took. The rooms that held the children were "specially constructed" with no access to toilets, water, or lighting, officials said.

"I've seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable", said St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock, KMOV-TV reported.

Jester was not aware there were any children in the home.



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