Mom Reports Son Missing Before an Investigation Reveals They Locked Him Up in a Box for Years

A couple from Florida was arrested after the authorities made a heartbreaking discovery. According to Fox 7, investigators revealed that mom, Tracy Ferriter, and dad, Timothy Ferriter were charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment after they forced their 13-year-old adopted son to live in horrific conditions.

As Fox 7 reports, the young teenage boy was reportedly forced to live inside an 8-foot by 8-foot box that Tracy and Timothy had stored inside their garage. 

Mom Reports Son Missing Before an Investigation Reveals They Locked Him Up in a Box for Years

mom reports son missing before an investigation reveals they locked him up in a box for years
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Tracy and Timothy allegedly adopted the child five years ago. Ever since then, the couple forced their son to live inside the box since 2017.

Inside the box was a mattress along with a gray sheet, a pillow, a desk with school books, children’s books, and a chair. A Ring camera was installed above the mattress by the parents. And on the outside of the box was a deadbolt and a light switch. 

Tracy and Timothy, according to WPTV, reportedly allowed the child to attend school but was immediately locked back up upon returning home. Investigators revealed that the boy received meals while inside the box and he was only provided a bucket as a bathroom.

While talking with detectives, WPEC reports that he told them he was whipped with belts and jump ropes and that he had his neck slammed against walls. Detectives first learned of the child’s living conditions and abuse after Tracy reported him missing on January 28.

Two days later, on January 30, police went to the Ferriter’s home to see if their son had returned. When they said no, the police asked if they could search the house, that’s when the box was discovered. On January 31, the teenager was found and interviewed by police at his middle school. He told police that he could be locked up for as long as 18 hours a day.

The boy ran away from home “because I feel like no one loves me.” He admitted that he didn’t feel safe and “would rather be in prison than be back at home.”

Other children were also living in the Ferriter household at the time of Tracy and Timothy’s arrest. Police also talked with one of the teen’s siblings who admitted that the teen would get locked in the box when he was misbehaving. The Ring camera provided thousands of videos as evidence of the boy being locked in the box.

They are now in protective custody. It’s unclear if any of the other children showed signs of abuse.

In a written statement, obtained by WPEC, DCF says, “The treatment this child has endured is appalling on many accounts, and the allegations are both heinous and evil. Our Department is committed to making sure no child has to endure the terrible things that have been told to investigators. We hope the judicial system will act swiftly to deliver justice for this child.”

According to FOX 7, their defense attorney told a judge that their teen son had “reactive attachment disorder, a condition where a child doesn’t form a healthy emotional bond with his or her caretakers and said the condition may have been a reason why the Ferriters locked the teen up.”

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Tracy and Timothy were being held at the Palm Beach County Jail with a bond set at $50,000. After bonding out hours later, a judge ordered them to have no contact with any of their children.

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