The parents charged in a horrific child abuse case in Wise County had their bonds set Wednesday morning.
Paige Harkings and Andrew Fabila, both 24, each face four counts of child endangerment. Harkings also faces an additional charge of aggravated assault.
Bond has been set at $15,000 each for each charge; Fabila is being held on $60,000 bond and Harkings is being held on $75,000 bond.
Wise County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday morning discovered four young children in a "state of neglect," apparently malnourished and covered in feces and urine, living in an outbuilding in rural Wise County.
Two of the children, deputies said, were being held inside a small, locked dog kennel. Deputies made the discovery after hearing the voices of children coming from the makeshift living space inside the outbuilding.
Investigators said the children, ages 5, 4, 3 and 1, all share the same mother and that Fabila is the father to only one of them.
Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said the discovery might not have even occurred, without the persistence of law enforcement officers who investigated the initial domestic disturbance report. The sheriff said they asked permission to enter the home after hearing children’s voices, but the pair refused. Deputies suspected the two were intoxicated so, citing exceptional circumstances, they went inside, where they found the children covered in feces, two of them locked in dog cages.
"Because of those steps, those children, for possibly the first time in their lives, those children slept in a safe, clean environment where they were well-fed and free from harm," said Akin.
Akin on Tuesday said when deputies found them, all of the children were hungry and thirsty and that "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."
'Malnourished' Kids Locked in Dog Kennel, Parents Charged
Caged Children 'Are Going to be Impacted by This as Long as They Live'
Deputies gave food and water to all of the children, all of whom were believed to be small for their ages and malnourished. They were then taken to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for examinations.
Fabila was treated at the Wise Regional Hospital in Decatur and then joined Harkings at the Wise County Jail where they were each booked on four counts of child endangerment. Harkings was also charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury for the lacerations on Fabila's face.
'This is at the Top of the List of Worst Cases,' Deputy Says
Family, Neighbors React to Neglected Wise County Children
Child Protective Services confirmed to NBC 5 they have had previous contact with the parents at a different address and that they're investigating this latest incident. CPS said Tuesday afternoon that the children were being released from the hospital and will be placed into foster care.
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