World News

Texas sheriff: 2 malnourished children found in locked dog cage

Texas sheriff: 2 malnourished children found in locked dog cage

A mother and her boyfriend were arrested after police responding to a domestic disturbance call in Texas found four malnourished children in a home - two of them locked in a dog crate, authorities said.

Deputies say they were responding to a domestic violence call when they found the children malnourished and covered in waste. Two of the old children were locked in a 3-by-3-foot (90-by-90 centimeter) cage, while two younger children were found outside the cage but only partially clothed and smeared with feces and urine.

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 are ages five, four, three and one.

Deputies were speaking with a man and a woman, both 24, when they heard children's voices coming from the barn, Akin said.

The two parents were arrested and charged with four counts of criminal child endangerment.

More news: The surprising royal who came to the defence of Meghan Markle

Sheriff Akin was greeted with a grim discovery as he found four children, all hungry and thirsty.

"The four children have been taken to Cook's (Children's Medical Center) in Fort Worth to be examined", Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's a metal shop top building with some living quarters fashioned in one end of it ... this is at the top of the list of worst cases as far as children and how they're kept". She said the children were being evaluated at the hospital and for the time being were not in state custody.

Fabila's face appears to be cut in numerous places in the mugshot authorities later took. Deputies found a 24-year-old man and woman at the home when they arrived.

Harkings, the children's mother, and was also charged with aggravated assault. Akin says they will be charged with child endangerment.

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.