A Joshua Tree couple was arrested Wednesday after their three children were found living in a box for four years, authorities said.
San Bernardino County deputies found the children, aged 11, 13 and 14, in a plywood box with no electricity or running water in the 7000 block of Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Authorities said the box was 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 4 feet high.
Authorities found mounds of trash and human feces throughout the property. Between 30 and 40 cats were roaming freely and inside a travel trailer on the property.
The children did not have enough food and were living in an “unsuitable and unsafe” environment, the Sheriff’s Department said.
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The children’s parents, Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to child. Each is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Anyone with information on in the case can call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175.