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  • Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73 were arrested in Joshua Tree, California
  • Cops located an abandoned trailer and box during a search of the property 
  • The property had no electricity or running water
  • Approximately 30-40 cats were located inside the trailer and roaming freely
  • Deputies discovered the children had been living in the box- which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 ft wide 

Dailymail.com Reporter

A mother and father have been arrested for keeping their three children in a plywood box for four years.

Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73 were taken into custody in Joshua Tree, California, on on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child on Thursday.

Deputies located a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on their property, according to a release from the sheriff’s department.

They then found the children – ages 11,1 3 and 14 – living in squalid conditions. Video and pictures taken at the scene show the area strewn with garbage and debris. 

Mattresses and plastic bags are seen inside the box the youngsters were kept in – in an area where temperatures reach up to 120 degrees. 

A mother and father have been arrested for keeping their three children in a plywood box for four years at their property in Joshua Tree, California, above 

During the investigation, deputies learned the three victims have lived in the large rectangular box - which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 ft wide - for approximately four years

During the investigation, deputies learned the three victims have lived in the large rectangular box - which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 ft wide - for approximately four years

During the investigation, deputies learned the three victims have lived in the large rectangular box – which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 ft wide – for approximately four years

This aerial photo from video provided by KABC-TV shows the ramshackle structure in unincorporated Joshua Tree in Southern California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, March 1, 2018

This aerial photo from video provided by KABC-TV shows the ramshackle structure in unincorporated Joshua Tree in Southern California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, March 1, 2018

This aerial photo from video provided by KABC-TV shows the ramshackle structure in unincorporated Joshua Tree in Southern California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, March 1, 2018

The image above shows a close-up shot of the front door to the rectangular plywood structure where authorities say the children were held

The image above shows a close-up shot of the front door to the rectangular plywood structure where authorities say the children were held

The image above shows a close-up shot of the front door to the rectangular plywood structure where authorities say the children were held

The property had no electricity or running water. Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

The property had no electricity or running water. Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

The property had no electricity or running water. Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

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 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 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

Children's toys are seen amongst the debris found in Joshua Tree, California

Children's toys are seen amongst the debris found in Joshua Tree, California

Children’s toys are seen amongst the debris found in Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree and its surrounding communities are located in the High Desert of California, which is an area between 2,000 and 4,000 feet above sea level

Joshua Tree and its surrounding communities are located in the High Desert of California, which is an area between 2,000 and 4,000 feet above sea level

Joshua Tree and its surrounding communities are located in the High Desert of California, which is an area between 2,000 and 4,000 feet above sea level

Anyone with information on in the case can call San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175

Anyone with information on in the case can call San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175

Anyone with information on in the case can call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175

Old furniture and mattresses are seen in the debris field outside of the trailer in Joshua Tree

Old furniture and mattresses are seen in the debris field outside of the trailer in Joshua Tree

Old furniture and mattresses are seen in the debris field outside of the trailer in Joshua Tree

Children and Family Service responded to the location and took custody of the three victims

Children and Family Service responded to the location and took custody of the three victims

Children and Family Service responded to the location and took custody of the three victims

Joshua Tree, California is home to Joshua Tree National Park, a US national monument

Joshua Tree, California is home to Joshua Tree National Park, a US national monument

Joshua Tree, California is home to Joshua Tree National Park, a US national monument

Debris is seen atop what appears to be a trampoline while children's toys are seen on the ground in the photo above

Debris is seen atop what appears to be a trampoline while children's toys are seen on the ground in the photo above

Debris is seen atop what appears to be a trampoline while children’s toys are seen on the ground in the photo above

The image above shows another view of the trailer and the surrounding debris field

The image above shows another view of the trailer and the surrounding debris field

The image above shows another view of the trailer and the surrounding debris field

The property had no electricity or running water. 

Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property. 

Approximately 30-40 cats were located inside the trailer and roaming freely.

During the investigation, deputies learned the three victims have lived in the large rectangular box – which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 ft wide –  for approximately four years. 

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. 

Children and Family Service responded to the location and took custody of the three victims.

Deputies located a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on their property, according to a release from the sheriff's department

Deputies located a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on their property, according to a release from the sheriff's department

Deputies located a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on their property, according to a release from the sheriff’s department

Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property

–Credit: Home | Mail Online