DECATUR, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A custody hearing was held Wednesday morning in Wise County for the children involved in a case of neglect.
The court hearing for the parents of those children, Paige Harkins and Andrew Fabila, addressed whether any other family members will advocate for custody. Child Protective Services said it will take some time before any changes happen and the children will remain in foster care for the immediate future.READ MORE: Warrant Issued For Dallas Police Officer Jacob Hughes, Accused Of Fabricating Evidence
“There was some discussion today in court of some concerns that we have for developmental delays some of the children may have, so of course we’ll be seeking treatment for them for those,” said Marissa Gonzales with the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin calls the case “an absolute atrocity”. According to Akin, deputies never could have imagined what they’d find on a rural property along County Road 4930 when they answered a domestic disturbance call on February 12.
Inside an outbuilding where the family lived they discovered four children, ages 5, 4, 3, and 1 years old. Deputies say two of the little ones were caged in a 3×3 dog kennel, and the other two were wrapped in blankets. The children appeared malnourished and most of them were covered in feces and urine.READ MORE: Governor Greg Abbott Signs Texas Senate Bill 4 Tightening Restrictions On Abortion-Inducing Drug Availability
Investigators say while there was food in the building, the children had no access to it and there was no working toilet. The structure had electricity, but was only heated with what’s described as an unsafe space heater.
After they were discovered the children were taken to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth for evaluation and then placed in Child Protective Services (CPS) custody.
Harkins remains in the Wise County Jail on a $75,000 bond. Fabila was released after posting a $60,000 bond.
The judge in Wednesday’s hearing will set requirements for what Fabila and Harkins need to do if they are to regain custody of their children.MORE NEWS: Fort Worth Clinic Offering 3rd-Dose COVID-19 Booster Shots For Eligible People
The next hearing won’t be for another month. The criminal cases against both parents for endangering the children, are still pending.