A North Texas couple faces various felony charges after police discovered four malnourished children in their barn on Tuesday.

Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call involving Andrew Joseph Fabila and Paige Isabow Harkings around 7:20 a.m., WBALTV 11 reports.

The two had been fighting and deputies noticed Fabila had cuts on his face.

While speaking with the couple, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said they heard children’s voices coming from the barn.

When deputies entered the barn, they said it’d been “crudely fashioned” into a residence.

In the bedroom, they discovered a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl locked in a 3-by-3 foot dog cage. Further, they found 3-year-old and 1-year-old boys partially clothed and covered in feces and urine.

Akin commented:

“I’ve not worked one where children are locked inside a dog kennel, and I find that absolutely disgusting.”

As WBALTV 11 reports, Harkings is the mother of all the children and Fabila is the father of one. All of the children were hungry and thirsty. Akin described the case as the worst he’s seen in his 44-year-long career.

As WBALTV 11, Akin said:

“There was plenty of food inside the barn, but the refrigerator and the cabinets had been locked so the kids could not get in to get food.”

The children were transported to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth for examination. However, their conditions have not been disclosed.

According to Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the agency has been in contact with the family before at a different location. She said the children are not in the state’s custody yet.

According to WBALTV 11, officers charged each of the parents with four counts of criminal child endangerment. Further, Harkings was also charged with aggravated assault.

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8 Replies to “Officers Responding to a Couple Fighting Discover Four Malnourished Children. Two Were Locked in Dog Cages”

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Horrific! This mother and father need to be put in jail for their lifetime. I am curious to know where was the grandparents, aunts and uncles of these children? Perhaps they lived far away, but someone else had to have known what was happening there. Let us all be the voice for these abused, neglected children.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    You’d be surprised. If the parents want nothing to do with the grandparents, the grandparents have no rights. I have one son and daughter in law who are angry with me and therefore are keeping me out of their life completely (phone blocked, I don’t have an address, etc.) I’m not concerned at the moment about the safety of the 4 grandchildren as the parents have always been responsible, hold good jobs, have a nice home and cars. Nevertheless, I still feel it’s emotional abuse to keep my grandchildren from me. Neighbors and friends need to be the ears- if you see something or suspect something- say something. Hard to believe no crying was heard, unless they live in a very rural area.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      I am sorry that you are treated that way. My neighbor doesn’t allow her MIL to see her grandchildren and I really tried talking to her. She may not like her MIL, but your children need a grandma. I loved my grandmas and my mom despised my grandma her MIl, but I still was allowed to see her regardless. Very sad.

  • JEAN f CRAIG 2 years ago


  • Andrea 2 years ago

    These parents should not get their kids back. They neglected the kids and were abusing them and that is just NOT right.. to be treated like that period!!!!
    Very sad and harsh to fathom that they, the parents would do this to their own kids. No parents( whether biological and or step) should mistreat children in any way shape or form. Get help and or leave them in a safe shelter(in a hospital or at a local/ volunteer fire department.
    These parents should have their parenting rights to be put to rest and not be able
    to see and or care for their children again!~

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    they should be put in cages for life

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    They should be punished X 4, kids removed from their custody and both steralized so they don’t produce more innocent babies

  • Nobody 2 years ago

    Where is the father of the 3 kids, the man is only father of 1. It looks like they are on a farm if the kids were in a barn. Obviously there was not a lot of contact with family. And people could have been to the house, if the barn was closed up. Nobody may have known they even had kids there.

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