Joshua Tree Couple Held on $100k Bail for Willful Cruelty to Children

A husband and wife were arrested after sheriffs discovered their three children had been living in a box in the desert for years.  The three children, 11, 13 and 14 were living in a plywood box for the past 4 years.  They were found without sufficient good according to Children and Family Services.  Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were both arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child violation of Penal Code section 273 (A) A.  They were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and are being held on $100,000 bail.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were conducting a welfare check of the Joshua Tree property when they discovered the plywood box and trailer.  According to authorities there was no running water or electricity.  The area was marked with feces and trash with dozens of stray cats.  Many of the cats were inhabiting the trailer and some roamed freely.  The children were taken into protective services as their parents await their upcoming court appearance.  Children and Family Services believed that the environment was unsafe for children and immediately took custody of the children.

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