Couple: Desert living situation unconventional, not abusive
YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California couple arrested after deputies found them and their three kids on a desert property without electricity or running water says their living situation was unconventional but not abusive.
Daniel Panico and Mona Kirk pleaded not guilty this month to misdemeanor child endangerment and charges related to truancy.
In an interview with the Desert Sun newspaper, Panico said the family had limited resources but never went hungry. He says he did odd jobs and took care of a local vacation home, where the family showered and slept a few times a week. Panico says they’re avid campers who enjoy sleeping outdoors.
Their plot near Yucca Valley had a travel trailer and a makeshift fort built by the kids.
The children remain in the custody of child welfare officials.
Information from: The Desert Sun, http://www.desertsun.com