Texas couple jailed after children found neglected

Frederick Owens
February 13, 2019

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.

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.

The oldest two were locked in the cage that was just 3-by-3 feet, and the other two were filthy and only partially clothed, Akin said.

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

One Texas Sherriff said it was the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen.

Paige Isabow Harkings and Andrew Joseph Fabila, who are both 24, have each been 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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Two of the children were found locked in a cage in a barn on the family's rural property.

The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, but a hospital spokeswoman declined to disclose their conditions.

The enclosure in which the children were found measured 3-by-3 feet.

Harkings is the biological mother of all four of the children while Fabilia is the father to only one of them, the Wise County Messenger reported. She said the children were being evaluated at the hospital and for the time being were not in state custody.

Neighbor Amber Jester told the affiliate that she didn't know there were children at the home. The man had cuts to his face. Akin called it the worst case of child abuse he has seen in his 44-year career.

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

The couple has had contact with the Department of Children Services before Tuesday's investigation, according to DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

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