Palm Beach County

Florida Couple Forced Teen to Live in Garage for Years: Police

The 13-year-old had to use bucket to go to the bathroom, police said

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A Florida couple who authorities said forced their adopted teen son to live in a garage for years are facing several charges.

Tracy Christine Ferriter and Timothy Dunne Ferriter, both 46, were arrested Tuesday on aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment charges, Jupiter Police officials said.

According to police, the couple had physically abused the 13-year-old and forcibly confined him to live in the garage since at least 2017.

Palm Beach County Sheriff
Timothy Ferriter, Tracy Ferriter

The investigation began when detectives responded to the couple's home on Jan. 30 while looking into reports of a teen who was a missing runaway.

While one of the detectives was in the home, he noted an 8X8-foot structure in the garage that was described by Tracy Ferriter as a small office, officials said.

The structure had a doorknob and deadbolt that both locked from the outside, along with a light switch on the exterior.

Inside the structure were a camera, mattress and bucket, police said.

Detectives found the teen at school the next day and he told them he'd been forced to live in the structure, officials said.

The teen had been allowed to attend school but was confined the rest of the day in the structure, where he was brought meals and forced to use the bucket to go to the bathroom, police said.

Tracy and Timothy Ferriter were arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County jail. Attorney information wasn't available.

Officials said there were three other children who were living in the house who were removed by child protective services.

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