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Joshua Tree parents arrested after 3 children found living inside box

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YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Morongo Basin Station were conducting an area check when they came across a large, rectangular box made of plywood and found three children living near mounds of trash and human feces.

It happened on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at approximately 11:04 am, in the 7000 block of Sun Fair Road in Joshua Tree.

According to a sheriff’s news release, “deputies located a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on 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. Approximately 30-40 cats were located inside the trailer and roaming freely. While checking the property deputies contacted three victims ages 11,13 and 14.”

Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were found on the property and determined to be the parents of the victims.

Photo courtesy of SBSD – Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department/Twitter)

During the investigation, deputies learned the three victims have lived in the large rectangular box, (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.

Maron Kirk and Daniel Panico were arrested and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail for Penal Code Penal Code 273 A (A) Willful Cruelty To Child in lieu of 100,000 bail.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at (760)366-4175. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME.

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Helicopter lands on Amethyst Road for woman involved in crash

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) A woman was airlifted with critical injuries following a crash late Friday night.

At 11:30 p.m., the Victorville Fire Department, deputies from the Victorville Police Department, and two American Medical Response (AMR) ambulances were dispatched to the intersection of Amethyst and La Mesa Roads for reports of a head-on crash.

– Photo Credit: Travis Dixon.

Upon arrival, firefighters located two vehicles with major damage; a gray 2018 Toyota Camry and a dark-colored sedan with a woman still trapped inside.

Firefighters extricated the woman from the vehicle and requested a helicopter to land near the scene to transport her to a trauma center.

The Camry sustained major front-end damage. – Photo credit: Travis Dixon.

The driver of the Camry, Jaalen “Jay” Thompson, told Victor Valley News that he was traveling westbound on La Mesa Road on a green light when he was struck by the dark sedan that was traveling southbound on Amethyst Road.

Although Thompson did not sustain major injuries, his girlfriend who is pregnant was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

“The dark colored sedan ran the red light and smacked my car,” Thompson stated, “She was also pregnant.”

The intersection was closed while authorities investigated the crash.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. – Photo Credit: Julio Solano.

As of 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the intersection was reopened.

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State and San Bernardino County OK resumption of youth sports – with restrictions

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The State Department of Public Health has issued long-anticipated guidance allowing youth sports and physical education – including school-based, club, and recreational programs – to resume, as long as they are limited to groups of participants who regularly gather, such as a class or organized team, and only when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.

Sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not yet permitted either indoors or outdoors.

“This is an opportunity for young people to stay healthy, stay in shape, and be ready when the State allows team and other group activities to resume,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. The County Health Officer has approved implementation of the guidance within San Bernardino County.

(San Bernardino County Health news release)

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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