Adopted teen forced to live in a garage
ADOPTED TEEN – A 14-year-old boy in Florida was allegedly forced to live inside a tiny 8×8 ft. structure in his adoptive parents’ garage for approximately five years.
This came to light after the boy’s mother reported him missing on Jan. 28, 2021, stating that he suffered from several behavioral disorders and had been involved in an affair at school before going missing. When the police arrived at the house, they discovered the small structure in the garage, which was locked from the outside and contained a mattress, books, a desk, and a chair. Initially, the adoptive parents claimed it was a makeshift office.
The next day, authorities found the boy at school and asked him why he had run away. He revealed that he was forced to live in the tiny structure when he wasn’t at school and that he had been physically abused, including being spanked, hit with a belt and a jump rope, and frequently spit on. Reports indicated that the boy was only given a bucket to use as a restroom, and he cleaned it himself. The boy also expressed feeling unloved and pleaded with the police not to take him back home, preferring to be arrested instead.
An investigation revealed that the couple had been abusing their adopted son since 2017, and the footage from a Ring camera set up in the garage corroborated the boy’s claims. The teen reportedly suffered from a reactive attachment disorder, which is typically diagnosed in infants and children and causes a failure to form healthy emotional attachments with primary caretakers. However, in this case, it was caused by an environment that did not meet the child’s needs.
The Ferriters were charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and one count of false imprisonment, but they pleaded not guilty and posted a bail of $50,000 each. The couple’s other three children, including a two-year-old toddler, were placed under the care of Child Protective Services.
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