custody hearing, child endangerment, child abuse, dog kennel, feces, urine, squalor, child neglect, Andrew Joseph Fabila Paige Harkins, Rhome, Wise County, Wise County Sheriff’s Office Custody Hearing Today For North Texas Children Found Living In Squalor – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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.

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“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.

Harkins is the mother of all four children and Fabila is the father of one.

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.

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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.

Mugshots of Andrew Fabila (left) and Paige Harkins (right). (credit: Wise County Jail)

Deputies arrested Harkins and Fabila, both 24, and charged them with several counts of child endangerment.

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.

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The next hearing won’t be for another month. The criminal cases against both parents for endangering the children, are still pending.