Children found locked in dog kennel

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 13, 2019

Investigators found the children, all of whom are age 5 or younger, in a barn outside the family home and just feet away from plentiful food kept under lock and key.

The two adults are charged with four counts of child endangerment.

Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, were arrested shortly after and charged with almost 50 counts of child abuse, torture and false imprisonment.

Inside the barn, deputies found two children locked in a dog kennel who showed signs of malnutrition and two others who also appeared to be malnourished and were only partially clothed and smeared with feces and urine. Joseph Fabila and Harkings, the mother of the four children, have been jailed without bond after the children were found at their rural home.

The oldest two children, ages 5 and 4, were found locked in an approximately 3-foot by 3-foot dog kennel inside the home, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said.

They were all transported to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for evaluation and the 24-year-old male was also taken to the hospital for the wounds on his face.

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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.

"This is at the top of the list of worst cases, as far as children", Johnson said, calling the use of the dog crate and lack of care "unacceptable". Deputies fed the kids and gave them water before taking them to the hospital, according to the sheriff's office.

The children were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services to be evaluated. The children were adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband, the sheriff's department said.

"You'd think that being right across the street we would know something".

She claimed that she and her 12 siblings were being held against their will by their parents, would often leave them shackled and taunt them with food. "I guess you never know what people are doing inside of their homes".

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