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California pair who housed youngsters in desert squalor get new residence

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — A Southern California couple discovered with their three youngsters in a makeshift desert shack mentioned they hope to be reunited with their youngsters now that they’ve a home to reside in.

Daniel Panico, 73, and Mona Kirk, 51, on Tuesday visited their new residence close to Joshua Tree that was paid for and furnished by donations to a web-based fundraising web site began by a good friend.

Their legal professionals have mentioned they’ll argue that little one endangerment prices in opposition to the couple needs to be dropped. Panico and Kirk mentioned they’re not abusive, simply poor.

Authorities took custody of the three youngsters — between 11 and 14 years previous — when the dad and mom had been arrested final month. The couple hasn’t seen or spoken to their youngsters since.

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Panico fought again tears Tuesday as he thanked everybody who donated. He instructed KMIR-TV that he’s dreamed of bringing his household collectively in a home just like the one he now has.

Kirk recalled the worry she felt the day she and her husband of 17 years had been arrested.

“I got here out of the fort and there have been three deputies holding their weapons out and screaming for the youngsters to come back out,” she instructed the information station.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division has mentioned the kids had been residing within the shack with out working water, bogs or electrical energy for a number of years within the desert about 200 kilometres east of Los Angeles.

The shelter was cobbled along with plywood and plastic sheeting. A number of holes on the property had been full of feces, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

This handout {photograph} obtained March 1, 2018 courtesy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division, Morongo Basin Station, reveals the realm in Joshua Tree, California the place a pair had been allegedly residing with their three youngsters inside a field for 4 years. Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, had been taken into custody February 28, 2018 when San Bernardino Sheriffs Division deputies found they and three underage youngsters had been residing inside a big rectangular field manufactured from plywood,” in response to the police press launch. The couple have been charged with willful cruelty to youngsters.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman mentioned on the time that the kids didn’t seem to have any apparent accidents and confirmed no outward indicators of malnutrition however “it was obvious that they had not bathed in days.”

The youngsters weren’t enrolled in public college and there was no proof they had been being educated, Bachman mentioned.

Dozens of individuals rallied in assist of the couple exterior their courtroom listening to March 6, holding indicators that learn “Being homeless will not be against the law” and “Poverty will not be a selection.”

Panico mentioned he hopes to see legal guidelines modified so households who’re struggling will not be so simply separated.

“And youngsters wrenched from their dad and mom? It’s not proper,” he mentioned.


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