Saturday, 23 February, 2019

3 children found living in plywood box, parents charged

Joshua Tree parents arrested for keeping kids in a box for 4 years 3 children found living in plywood box, parents charged
Melinda Barton | 03 March, 2018, 04:40

Sheriff's deputies in Southern California this week rescued three children who were living in a plywood shed on a trash-strewn desert property without running water or electricity, the authorities said Thursday.

Mona Kirk & Daniel Panico arrested for willful cruelty to a child after deputies discover the family's living conditions in the 7000 block of Sun Fair Road in Joshua Tree.

The box reportedly had several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces surrounding it.

The county's Department of Children and Family Services took charge of three children, ages 11, 13 and 14.

Investigators do not believe the children were being held captive, like another family - who lived about 97 kilometres east of Joshua Tree - that made global headlines earlier this year when officials said they had rescued their 13 children.

The parents are being held in jail on suspicion of child cruelty, with their bail set at $100,000.

A Joshua Tree, California, couple have been arrested after their three children were found living in a plywood box for four years.

Pictures from the property, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, show a filthy plot of land with random junk piled high along with countless broken toys.

The children "were living in an unsuitable and unsafe environment", authorities said. Also on the property, they found a large rectangular box.

A mother and father have been arrested for keeping their three children in a plywood box for four years.

Cindy Bachman, a sheriff's department spokeswoman, told the New York Times that investigators did not find any records of the children attending school. "People come up here to get away from it all", the neighbor, Mike Reynolds, said. "My goodness, he's living on his own property".

"They range from 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -1 degrees Celsius) at night or even lower depending on the wind chill", Ms Bachman said.

"His family, they lived not too far from here and they lost their house".