The Joshua Tree National Monument in San Bernardino, California, is a well known spot throughout the country to enjoy nature, hiking, camping, and general outdoorsy activities. However, this week it became the scene of an alleged crime on Wednesday when police zeroed in on a trailer in the park. In a box attached to it, were three children. According to authorities, they had been there for four years.
According to ABC7...
"The property had no electricity or running water and mounds of trash and human feces were found throughout the property, the statement said. About 30-40 cats were found inside the trailer and roaming freely.
During the investigation, deputies discovered three children, 11, 13 and 14 lived in the plywood box, which measured about 20 feet long by 4 feet high and 10 feet wide, the statement said."
Fifty-one year old Mona Kirke, and seventy-three year old Daniel Panico, were determined to be the parents of the children and were arrested.
The Sun gave us even more information via Twitter...
🔘The mother slept in the box with her children, while the father lived in the trailer or a vehicle, officials said.— The Sun (@sbsun) March 2, 2018
🔘Officials don’t believe the children were regularly attending school.
🔘The children were not being locked in or held captive in the box.
🔘The box was a shelter fabricated out of scrap wood and other material, officials said.— The Sun (@sbsun) March 2, 2018
🔘A tarp on top of the wooden structure kept the rain out, but there was no heat, running water, electricity or bathrooms.
🔘The three children are ages 11, 13 and 14— The Sun (@sbsun) March 2, 2018
🔘They reportedly lived in the large rectangular box for about four years
🔘The box was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 feet wide
🔘The property had neither electricity nor running water— The Sun (@sbsun) March 2, 2018
🔘Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were found on the property
🔘About 30-40 cats were roaming freely inside the trailer next to the box
Others gave us photo and video evidence...
The parents were arraigned in court on Friday, and Brian Rokos of the Press Enterprise snapped these photos...
Family members and friends have leapt to the defense of Daniel Panico and Mona Lisa Kirk, accused of child abuse after their children were found living in a large box off a dirt road in Joshua Tree. “They’re being punished for being homeless,” one said. pic.twitter.com/5CTKjc4f1V— Brian Rokos (@Brian_Rokos) March 2, 2018
Some felt they were being punished for their economic circumstance...
Don't agree with them being punished. The system failed them as it does for many....— Alfonso Little (@Makeyakri) March 3, 2018
They are not Child abusers because they are dirt poor— OptimisticBrownsFan⤴️ (@Matty_Light808) March 3, 2018
Why are they being punished for being homeless? Why isn’t there a system in place to help these people?— N.S (@N_A_A_S) March 3, 2018
This seriously breaks my heart! This family needs help! Instead they're being torn apart for being poor! 💔I pray the courts show some compassion!— Ms_UnKnown (@_Ms_Unknown) March 3, 2018
Others felt that the couple needed to take some personal responsibility...
This is terrible bless them, how can you treat children like that? turn the tables put the parents in a box with sips of water and little food, they would not last a week!— Linda Hudson (@hudson_linda) March 3, 2018
Okay yes they are poor but they are prioritizing the cats over the kids. Article says one of the parents and dozens of cars live in the trailer while the others humans sleep in the box. Sooooo— Tabatha Thaker (@TabbyThaker) March 3, 2018
Instead of getting them help...how about them asking for help? So many families are one paycheck away from being homeless but when you have kids to be responsible for you do what it takes to get help....not avoid it. Sad situation that's for sure. Looking forward to facts.— Sher (@doTERRASher) March 4, 2018
Some people truly shouldn’t bring kids to this world🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️— LEXY (@S0SexyLexy) March 3, 2018
Most were simply shocked...
And Kathleen wanted what we all do...
Facts please, not hype. This looks like homeless village. I don't know facts. Thousands of homeless children in our country, wish media stir was about them n all. Is this POVERTY OR ABUSE?— KATHLEEN O'BRIEN (@KATHLEE23339303) March 2, 2018