Joshua Tree Couple Charged with Child Abuse Awarded Custody

Joshua Tree Couple Charged with Child Abuse Awarded Custody

Martín Di Felice

The Joshua Tree couple charged with felony child abuse has a victory Thursday. After a long day in family court in San Bernardino Daniel Panico and Mona Kirk got their children back.
The pair was arrested in late February after police say they found their three children under the age of 15 found living in a makeshift shelter near their mobile home on their property.
Since their arrest the community and strangers raised money to move them into a home and friends helped them meet the requirements set under the court to get custody back. The couple was not allowed to contact their children, and are now facing misdemeanor charges.

The home was made of plywood covered in plastic, and without electricity or running water, surrounded by trash and mounds of feces on the property.

Neighbors say the couple is kind and did not deserve to be arrested because they were doing the best they could with what they had.

After their arrest, neighbors say they received many phone calls and met a lot of people who know the family and want to support them.