A mother and father in Georgia were arrested this week on suspicion of abusing their 18-year-old daughter using a variety of cruel punishments.
According to Fox News, Neil Farrell and Janet Farrell are expected to face charges of exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults in addition to criminal counts including false imprisonment and first-degree cruelty to children.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office reported that the parents contacted authorities to report their 18-year-old daughter missing. The teen had reportedly disappeared after entering the woods near the home.
When deputies arrived at the home on Saturday, they identified several “areas of concern” throughout the residence. Among the troubling evidence they reportedly found were video recording devices inside the teen’s room and external locks on her doors.
A sheriff’s office statement also noted the “lack of any personal affects within the room.”
Authorities ultimately located the alleged victim about 15 miles away from home after she “had been walking throughout the night.” Upon examining her, they reportedly found further evidence of abuse.
The suspects, who were described by officials as having “active legal guardianship” at the time of the abuse, are accused of beating the soles of her feet and locking her in her room for up to months at a time. Authorities believe the injuries to the teen’s feet were inflicted “to prevent visible bruising.”
The couple reportedly defended the actions as punishment for reported behavioral problems.
“During some of these time periods, she would only be provided meals and very limited opportunities to use a restroom,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that during “at least one ‘grounding period,’” the teen was allegedly given a bucket when she had to go to the bathroom outside of the allotted schedule.
As of the latest updates available, they remained behind bars awaiting a bond hearing set for Thursday. The alleged victim has been placed in “a safe environment,” authorities said.
[Featured image: Neil and Janet Farrell, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office]