Twisted couple ‘kept adopted son locked in 8ft box with bucket for toilet’

A couple have been arrested after it was alleged they have been locking their adopted teenage son in what one witness described as a “very strange” cell inside their garage.

In court this week, Tracy and Timothy Ferriter both entered not guilty pleas to charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment.

Whenever their 14-year-old son wasn’t at school, he was confined to the tiny eight-foot-square room that had only a bucket as a toilet, police records say.

A police investigation was sparked on January 28, 2021 when the boy ran away from home and Tracy Ferriter reported him missing. She told police the boy had “behavioural disorders” and had been in trouble at school.

When tracked down by cops and asked why he had run away, the lad told them “I feel like no one loves me”.

The builder that had originally constructed the tiny “cell” told police he had felt concerned about what the Ferriters planned to use it for.

The builder, identified only as Jack, told police that he had been contracted to build an office in the garage of a house in Jupiter, Florida.

He described the plans as “very strange”.

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The room “was built as an 8-foot-by-8-foot space in the garage with its own ceiling and door,” and to fit a camera in the ceiling.

A police affidavit said the victim, identified only by the initials AM, was kept under very tight control.

It said: “On a typical morning he is woken up because his door is locked. He is told to go to the bathroom and then back to his room.

"The door was locked and usually the lights were turned off. After his other siblings were dropped off at school, he would be fed breakfast, a banana and a piece of bread and peanut butter. When he was finished eating, he would go to school".

“After school," the affidavit continued, "he would come back into the room. He said it was 8 X 8 and had a lockable doorknob and deadbolt lock that both locked from the outside. He would be locked in there and had to stay in his room. He said he was in there a lot”.

The boy told police that his father often got “really aggressive” with him.

According to the police report: “He stated when asked how his dad gets aggressive, that he was slammed against a wall by his neck and struck in the face with an open hand”.

“The boy described profanity and anger and being spit in the face," the report went on. "He was spanked with a belt”.

Both Ferriters regularly posted images to their Facebook pages showing a happy family life. The pages are now filled with angry comments.

Tracy and Timothy Ferriter have been released on $50,000 (£36,000) bond, and have been banned from having any contact with their four children, according to local television station WPTV.

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