JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — Two parents in Joshua Tree, California, were arrested Wednesday for keeping children in a plywood box for nearly four years.
According to HiDesertStar, a local newspaper in the area, San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies determined that three children ages 11, 13 and 14 were living in a box approximately 20 feet long and 4 feet high.
Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were arrested and charged with willful cruelty to a child.
Deputies also determined that the victims were malnourished and living in “unsafe conditions.”
The children were discovered when deputies stopped at what they believed to be an abandoned trailer while conducting an area check of Sun Fair Road.
The trailer contained around 30 to 40 cats. Garbage and human feces were found on the surrounding property. According to KESQ, there was no electricity or running water.
The couple were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and are being held on $100,000 bail.
The children are now in the custody of Children and Family Services in San Bernardino County.
Cox Media Group