JUPITER, FL – A Florida husband and wife have been charged with child abuse after horrifically forcing their adopted son to live in a small locked “box” inside their garage for several years, making him eat his meals and even go to the bathroom inside the cramped structure, police say.
Timothy and Tracy Ferriter of Jupiter had allegedly been keeping the boy, now aged 13, inside the box since 2017, only letting him out to attend school; as soon as he returned home each and every day, he was made to get back into the box, according to authorities.
The terrible abuse suffered by the boy was only discovered when he finally ran away and was reported missing by the family on January 30, the Jupiter Police Department said.
An investigating detective discovered the box in the garage that the boy had been imprisoned in – measuring just eight feet wide and eight feet tall – that featured a door locked with a deadbolt and a light switch that was operated from the outside.
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Upon opening the door, the detective discovered that the only things inside were a plastic bucket – which the boy was disgustingly forced to use for going to the bathroom – a mattress, and a surveillance camera. At the time, Tracy Ferriter told the detective that the box was used as an office and for storage, cops say.
Police say they found the missing boy at school the next day, and upon interviewing him they discovered the twisted truth about what the box was actually used for; the Ferriter’s have since been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse.
The three other children that lived in the couple’s home have been taken by Child Protective Services and sent to foster homes, authorities say.