New 911 technology helped lead deputies in Wise County to the "worse cases" of neglect some had seen in their law enforcement career.
Deputies said four children, all younger than age six, were malnourished. Two children were found locked in a dog kennel, deputies said.
Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings, both age 24, are charged with criminal negligence.
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The children wouldn't have been found the morning of February 12 had it not been for a 911 call to the Wise County Sheriff's Office.
The call at about 7 a.m. came from a man who identified himself as "Andrew." He said he wanted to report a break-in by his girlfriend.
His girlfriend at the time, Paige Harkings, can be heard yelling in the background.
During domestic violence situations, dispatchers know deputies need to get there fast.
"Time really is of the essence," said Wise County Chief Deputy Craig Johnson.
The problem with Fabila's call: He told dispatchers he and Harkings had been drinking. He said he'd "drunk about five beers. She's had about two or three," he told the dispatcher.
Fabila also said he didn't know his address.
"I have no idea. It's in the back of a shop," Fabila told the dispatcher.
Until recently, dispatchers relied on 'triangulation,' three cell phone towers to ping a cell phone's general location.
Last year, Wise County introduced RapidSOS, a system that sends location data from any connected device directly to the hands of dispatchers.
"Just using local references, it takes us away from being outside AT&T Stadium to being inside [on] half of the field," Johnson said.
Johnson said the system was key to pinpointing the location of the Fabila's call and ultimately four small kids found living in filth.
"The payoff was a big deal," Johnson said.
RapidSOS estimates the system results in up to a seven minute faster response time by providing potentially life-saving information in some of the most challenging circumstances.
RapidSOS location data doesn't provide police with a permanent record.
Johnson said it stays in the system for only a few minutes after a call is made.
The four children are in foster care.
Online records show Fabila is out of jail on bond.
Harkings remains behind bars.