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A COUPLE is facing charges of aggravated child abuse after police alleged that they locked their child inside their garage for multiple hours a day.

Authorities claim the husband and wife from Jupiter, Florida would often keep their 14-year-old- adopted child confined in an 8-foot-by-8-foot box.

Timothy and Tracy Ferriter have been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment, police say

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Timothy and Tracy Ferriter have been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment, police sayCredit: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
According to a police report, the couple allegedly had their adopted 14-year-old child confined to a room in their garage for multiple hours a day

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According to a police report, the couple allegedly had their adopted 14-year-old child confined to a room in their garage for multiple hours a dayCredit: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Timothy and Tracy Ferriter allegedly made the child use a bucket for a toilet, only fed them leftovers from meals that were given to the rest of the family and monitored them through cameras.

The couple appeared before Circuit Judge Charles Burton Wednesdays for charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment.

They are being held on $25,000 bail each at the Palm Beach County Jail.

Nellie King, who is representing the couple, said that investigators had ignored “critical evidence” from Arizona, where the couple had lived until a month ago. 

“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,” said King in a statement.

“What Tim and Tracy have lived through the past many years will therefore be presented in court.”

Three other children live in the family’s Egret Landing home, said, investigators. They have been removed by Child Protective Services. 

Neighbors said the arrests came as a shock.

The Ferriters have lived in the Florida neighborhood from 2006 to 2017 and returned last month after living in Arizona for four years.

Despite having lived in the neighborhood for so long, other residents said they didn’t know much about the family.

“It was shocking to see the news,” said a handyman who did work on the Ferriters’ new home. “That is the last thing you expect when going to a house.”

According to the couple’s police report, the child said he was kept inside a room that was locked from the outside.

The cops alleged that he would be confined inside the room before and after school and was not allowed to go anywhere else inside the house.

The longest he spent locked inside the room was 16 to 18 hours.

CHILD WAS REPORTED MISSING LAST MONTH

Tracy Ferriter reported the child missing on January 28, according to the report. She told police the teen suffered from “several behavior disorders” and a pattern of running away from home.

At the time, officers had searched through the couple’s home to check for clues in the child’s room – however, Mrs. Ferriter initially denied them entry, saying she didn’t feel comfortable allowing them inside without her husband home.

She eventually let one officer inside, said police.

When the officer asked to see the child’s room, Mrs. Ferriter guided them to her younger child’s room and then to the garage.

The office found that it had a box spring mattress, schoolbooks and a Ring camera above the bed.

USED AS STORAGE

When asked about the room, Mrs Ferriter said the family used it as storage and claimed that all the children used the space, according to the report.

The child was found on January 31 after being spotted near Independence Middle School via security camera. While at the police department, the teen said they were being abused by their adoptive parents.

The child alleged that Timothy Ferriter slammed him against the wall and had slapped him on one occasion.

When asked how often his dad got angry, the child told investigators that it “happened a lot in Arizona.”

A search warrant for recordings from the Ring camera found thousands of videos of the child locked in the room.

Many videos captured the sound of a deadbolt being locked after the door was closed. 

The parents could allegedly be heard “yelling” at the child in some recordings. 

The Ferriters have been ordered to have no contact with the child or any of the other children in the home unless authorized. 

The couple is being held on $25,000 bond each at the Palm Beach County Jail

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The couple is being held on $25,000 bond each at the Palm Beach County JailCredit: WPEC
The couple lived with their children in Egret Landing for multiple years and lived in Arizona for some time before moving back last month

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The couple lived with their children in Egret Landing for multiple years and lived in Arizona for some time before moving back last monthCredit: WPBF 25 News

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