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US: Children found in ‘plywood box’ in desert, parents arrested

World2018-03-02

A California couple has been accused of forcing their three children to live for years in a hovel that police described as a large “plywood box” on a remote property without running water or electricity or adequate food. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced the couple’s arrest on Thursday. Maron Kirk and Daniel Panico have been charged with wilful cruelty to a child and are being held in the Morongo Basin Jail on US$100,000 bond. This handout photograph provided on March 1 by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department shows a property in Joshua Tree, California, where a couple were allegedly living with their three children inside a box-like plywood hovel for four years. Deputies discovered the trailer home and plywood hovel while conducting routine checks in the area around 11am Thursday on the 700 block of Sunfair Road, in a remote area of Joshua Tree, California, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department. At first, deputies thought they had found an abandoned trailer home and a large box in the desert. The box was about six metres long, 3 metres wide and 1.2 metres high. There were mounds of trash and human faeces and holes in the ground that appeared to be used as toilets. Bikes and broken swing set pieces, old furniture and a stray punchbag were strewn about the property. When deputies went inside the trailer, they found about 30 to 40 cats roaming freely. Then they found the children. According to the sheriff’s department, the children, ages 11, 13, and 14, had been living in the rectangular plywood hovel for about four years. “The victims were found to have an inadequate amount of food and were living in an unsuitable and unsafe environment due to the conditions located on the property,” the sheriff’s news release said. The deputies contacted county Child and Protective Services, which took custody of the children. Kirk and Panico, who were located on the property, were arrested. (WASHINGTON POST)

A California couple has been accused of forcing their three children to live for years in a hovel that police described as a large “plywood box” on a remote property without running water or electricity or adequate food.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced the couple’s arrest on Thursday.

Maron Kirk and Daniel Panico have been charged with wilful cruelty to a child and are being held in the Morongo Basin Jail on US$100,000 bond.

This handout photograph provided on March 1 by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department shows a property in Joshua Tree, California, where a couple were allegedly living with their three children inside a box-like plywood hovel for four years.

This handout photograph provided on March 1 by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department shows a property in Joshua Tree, California, where a couple were allegedly living with their three children inside a box-like plywood hovel for four years.

Deputies discovered the trailer home and plywood hovel while conducting routine checks in the area around 11am Thursday on the 700 block of Sunfair Road, in a remote area of Joshua Tree, California, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department.

At first, deputies thought they had found an abandoned trailer home and a large box in the desert. The box was about six metres long, 3 metres wide and 1.2 metres high.

There were mounds of trash and human faeces and holes in the ground that appeared to be used as toilets. Bikes and broken swing set pieces, old furniture and a stray punchbag were strewn about the property.

When deputies went inside the trailer, they found about 30 to 40 cats roaming freely.

Then they found the children. According to the sheriff’s department, the children, ages 11, 13, and 14, had been living in the rectangular plywood hovel for about four years.

“The victims were found to have an inadequate amount of food and were living in an unsuitable and unsafe environment due to the conditions located on the property,” the sheriff’s news release said.

The deputies contacted county Child and Protective Services, which took custody of the children.

Kirk and Panico, who were located on the property, were arrested.

(WASHINGTON POST)

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