Texas couple jailed after children found neglected

Texas sheriff says two malnourished children found in dog cage

Texas sheriff says two malnourished children found in dog cage

Two children were found Tuesday locked in a dog cage in a barn in rural Wise County and two others were living in deplorable conditions, deputies say.

Deputies responded to a "shop-type" outbuilding near Rhome, which lies about 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth, after receiving a call around 7:20 a.m. reporting "some sort of physical altercation or argument", Johnson said.

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

Deputies said during the investigation, they found that there was food inside the home, but it was locked up so that it couldn't be reached by the children. Both are charged with four counts of child endangerment. However, they were inside of locked cabinets with no way for the children to unlock them. Joseph Fabila and Harkings, the mother of the four children, have been jailed without bond after the children were found at their rural home.

Officials said Cheatham and Head were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk as well as three counts of kidnapping, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth for evaluation.

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

According to Sheriff Lane Akin, the man's face was covered in scratches when authorities arrived on the scene.

She said the children were being evaluated at the hospital and for the time being were not in state custody. They were arrested and each charged with four counts of child endangerment.

"You'd think that being right across the street we would know something", she said. You'd like to say you would do something. "I guess you never know what people are doing inside of their homes", said Amber Jester.

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the agency has had contact with the family before, but at a different location.

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