A California couple is being held on child cruelty charges for making their three kids live in a plywood box for the past four years, according to officials.
Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were arrested Thursday by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies and booked in the Morongo Basin Jail.
Cops stumbled upon their children’s sickening living conditions during a property check in Joshua Tree, which is about 130 miles east of LA.
Officials said the box was found in an abandoned “travel trailer.”
Inside the trailer, deputies discovered around 30-40 cats “roaming freely, along with mounds of trash and feces, from both humans and feline.”
The box that the kids — ages 14, 13 and 11 — were allegedly forced to live in was described as being large and rectangular, with about 20 feet of space from end to end. It is approximately 4-feet high and 10-feet wide.
“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 office said in a press release.
Photos posted on Twitter Tuesday by cops showed the filthy plot of land, which was littered with random junk and countless children’s toys, most broken and run down.
Kirk and Panico’s kids reportedly told police that they had been living inside the plywood box for the past four years. They are now in the custody of Children and Family Services.
The pair was slapped with one charge of willful cruelty to a child and held Thursday on $100,000 bail.
Their arrest comes just weeks after another California couple — David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, of Periss — was busted on torture and child endangerment charges for keeping their 13 children captive and shackled inside their suburban home.