JOSHUA TREE– A couple who were suspected of housing their children in a plywood box for the last four years was arrested and charged with Willful Cruelty to a Child.
On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 11:04 am, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s were conducting an area check on the 7000 block of Sun Fair Road in Joshua Tree. They discovered an abandoned trailer and a large plywood box. Surrounding the box were large holes and large piles of trash and debris. The Sheriff Deputies observed that there was no running water or electricity coming to the property. Inside the trailer was up to 40 cats and human waste was all throughout the property.
While inspecting the property Sheriff deputies made contact with three minor victims ages 11-14. They also made contact with two adults a 51-year-old-female identified as Mona Kirk of Joshua Tree and a 73-year-old male identified as Daniel Panico also a resident of Joshua Tree. After further investigation deputies confirmed that the two adults were the parents of the children.
Investigators determined that the children had been living in the (Approximately 20 ft. long X 4 ft. high X 10 ft. wide) plywood box for four years. Due to the condition of the unsafe living environment Children & Family Services were called to take custody of the children.
Kirk and Panico were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and charged with Penal Code 273 A (A) Willful Cruelty To Child in lieu of $100,000 bail.
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