Authorities in Texas say a man and woman are facing criminal charges after four underfed young children — two of whom were locked in animal cages — were found at their Wise County home.
According to WKYT, all of the children are 5 years old or younger and were found inside the home and in a barn on the property. Nearby, investigators say the suspects had a supply of food locked out of reach.
The two older children were allegedly locked inside the same cage, which police say measured just three square feet. Police say the younger children were only partially dressed and were soiled in human waste.
Authorities arrested 24-year-old Paige Harkings and 24-year-old Andrew Fabila after the Wise County Sheriff’s Office dispatched deputies to a suspected domestic disturbance at the home near Rhome. They are expected to face four counts each of criminal child endangerment while Harkings faces an additional count of aggravated assault.
Harkings and Fabila had reportedly been engaged in a physical altercation prior to the arrival of deputies. Reports indicate, and a mugshot appears to confirm, that Fabila displayed abrasions on his face at the time of his arrest.
Reports indicate the children were transported from the scene to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth but additional information was unavailable as of the most recent updates available.
Harkings and Fabila had previously been the subject of reports by the Department of Child Protective Services, as reported by WABC.
[Featured image: Paige Harkings and Andrew Fabila, Wise County Jail]