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Texas couple jailed after children found neglected

13 February 2019

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin told The Dallas Morning News that deputies found the children while responding to a domestic disturbance call near Rhome, about 32 kilometres north of Fort Worth.

Bond has been set for two parents charged with child endangerment after authorities found two children locked in a dog cage and two more smeared with excrement in a North Texas barn.

The newspaper reports that while speaking to the man and woman about a possible family violence situation, a deputy heard children inside the home.

There were three boys, ages five, three and one, and a four-year-old girl, he said.

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They were arrested on four counts of endangering a child, and Harkings faces an additional charge of one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, Akin said.

Initial reports quoted Akin as saying two children were found caged in the barn and two were found in the home. The agency did not say if the children have been placed together or split up.

Two adults whose children were found in deplorable conditions near Rhome, including two locked in a dog kennel, have been arrested and charged with felonies.

The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, but a hospital spokeswoman declined to disclose their conditions. The two oldest children were the ones locked in the dog kennel.

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Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, were arrested shortly after and charged with almost 50 counts of child abuse, torture and false imprisonment. They were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Fabila had cuts to his face.

Harkings is the biological mother of all four of the children while Fabilia is the father to only one of them, the Wise County Messenger reported.

'They were positioned in a manner where those small children would not have access. Akin called it the worst case of child abuse he has seen in his 44-year career.

The couple has had contact with the Department of Children Services before Tuesday's investigation, according to DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

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Texas couple jailed after children found neglected