JUPITER, Fla. — A Florida couple is behind bars and facing charges of child abuse and false imprisonment after they allegedly kept their adopted son in deplorable conditions.
Police told WPBF the abuse dates back to at least 2017, and most recently was happening in a home in Jupiter, Florida.
Jupiter police said Tracy and Timothy Ferriter forced their adopted son to live in an 8-foot-by-8-foot structure in their garage, with only a mattress, bucket and camera inside, WPTV reported. Police said the child had been forced to live in the structure since at least 2017. Investigators said the child was allowed to attend school but was locked up for the rest of the day, WPTV reported.
Detectives told WPEC their investigation began with a report of a missing runaway on Jan. 30. Once police were inside the home, they noticed the structure in the garage, which was described by the mother as a small office.
In an arrest report, Jupiter police said that when they first spoke with Tracy Ferriter after she reported her son missing, she told police her son has “several behavioral disorders,” WPTV reported. When police interviewed the teenager after they found him at school the next day, the teenager told officers his parents once locked him in the garage structure for up to 18 hours, WPTV reported. When police asked him why he ran away, he told them, “because I feel like no one loves me” and he did not feel safe, WPTV reported.
A search warrant served at the house revealed thousands of videos that show the teenager locked inside the structure daily, WPTV reported.
Tracy and Timothy Ferriter were taken to jail, and three other children living in the home were removed by Child Protective Services, WPEC reported.
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