The Palm Beach Post writes that Timothy and Tracy Ferriter imprisoned their 14-year-old son in an 8-foot-by-8-foot box, reportedly for over five years. He used a bucket for a toilet, received leftovers from family meals, and was surveilled with a Ring camera installed above the bed.
The Ferriters are being held at a local jail in lieu of a $50K bail. The couple’s three other children have been taken from them.
“In the criminal legal system, the temptation for a community to rush to judge is tempered by the judicial process, a presumption of innocence, and the facts,” the couple’s attorney Nellie King told the outlet. “What Tim and Tracy have lived through the past many years will therefore be presented in court.”
The lawyer also said investigators neglected “critical evidence” discovered in Arizona, where the family previously lived.
The structure in the Ferriter’s garage only locked from the outside, with the boy typically being kept inside before and after school and not permitted to go into the main area of the house, according to the police report. The child told authorities he was once confined to the room for 16 to 18 hours.
Tracy Ferriter reported her son missing on Jan. 28, telling police he had run away. Authorities came to the house to check the boy’s bedroom for clues; Ferriter first resisted before showing one officer the structure in which he slept. When the cop saw the mattress and schoolbooks, Tracy said it was for storage and that all of their children utilized the area.
The child told investigators that his adoptive parents were abusive both in Florida and Arizona, where they lived for about four years. Prior to that, they resided in the same Jupiter neighborhood of Egret Landing from 2006 to 2017.