Wise Co. Deputies Find Children Locked In Dog Kennel

Kids Found Living In Squalid Conditions

Andrew Greenstein
February 12, 2019 - 11:39 am
Wise County Home

Credit: Andrew Greenstein, 1080 KRLD

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WISE COUNTY (1080 KRLD) - The sheriff of Wise County calls it one of the most disturbing cases he has ever encountered.

“It sickens us all, and we hate to see things like this going on, especially in Wise County,” says Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin.

Deputies were called to a house this morning on County Road 4930 between Newark and Rhome on a report of domestic violence.

As deputies were questioning the couple, they heard children’s voices.

What they found disgusted them to no end.

“They found filthy conditions — two younger children who appeared to be undernourished and two of the older children who were locked inside of the dog kennel,” says Sheriff Akin.

The dog kennel measured no bigger than one cubic yard.

“It’s probably a kennel that’s suitable for a larger dog,” says Sheriff Akin, “but there were two children inside that kennel.”

The four kids are three boys and one girl, ages 5, 4, 3 and 1.

“The children were covered in feces as well as urine, and they were in a very filthy state,” says Sheriff Akin.

And they were all malnourished.

“There was plenty of food in the house, but all of the food was under lock and key,” Akin says.

The kids were taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center and have been turned over to CPS custody.

Andrew Fabila
Andrew Greenstein

The parents are identified as Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkins, both 24.

Both will be facing four counts of child endangerment.

Neighbors Stunned

Neighbors, including Amber Jester, are stunned.

“It's shocking to think that across the street you do don’t know what people are doing,” says Amber Jester, who lives across the street.

The family moved into the house only a few weeks ago.

“You like to think that your neighbors are good people and that we're out in the country and we all look out for each other around here,” says Jester. “And somebody new moves in and you're treating people like animals.”

Jester’s next door neighbor, Barry Benson, says he didn’t know the family.

“Never met them,” Benson says. “(I’ve) only seen him from a distance — only a male — on rare occasion.”

Like Jester, Benton is disgusted at what transpired across the street.

“It’s abhorrent that somebody would treat children like that, let alone their own,” says Benson.