An adopted teen boy was reportedly forced to live in a small locked structure inside the garage of an abusive couple for several years since 2017.

The abuse victim's adoptive parents, Tracy and Timothy Ferriter, both 46, have been charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment after officers found that they allegedly forced their adopted 13-year-old son to live in a small locked structure inside their garage, New York Post reported.

The teen was reported missing from the family’s Jupiter home in the Egret Landing community on Jan. 30. When officers responded to the house a few days later to see if the boy had returned home, they spotted a garish 8-by-8-foot structure with a deadbolt lock and a light switch on the exterior wall in the couple's garage.

“The structure had a doorknob and deadbolt, both locking from the outside as well as a light switch only on the exterior,” a police spokesperson said. “Within the structure was a camera, mattress, and a bucket.”

The mother, Tracy, claimed to the detectives that the space was used as an office and for storage. However, when the officers found the missing son at school the following day, they learned that the Ferriters had allegedly kept the boy locked in the box since at least 2017, WPBF 25 News reported.

The boy told the authorities that he ran away because he felt like "nobody loves him." The abuse victim also said that he did not feel safe at home because someone recently got "really aggressive" with him. He claimed that he was hit with a belt and jump rope.

The boy told the officers that he spent up to 18 hours a day in the locked room and was only allowed to leave for school. He said he was provided a bucket to go to the bathroom in and then "made to dump it out in the backyard of the residence and clean it out."

He added that he was not allowed to eat with his family, and was instead fed their leftovers.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the boy's mother refuted some of the teenager's claims and stated that the boy could be suffering from some mental health issues and that the teen's story could be false.

However, the Jupiter Police Department’s investigation included footage recorded by a ring camera that was found inside the small makeshift room in the garage. The camera had thousands of videos, showing the boy repeatedly locked in his room and being yelled at by the abusive couple, NBC News reported.

Following the incident, the child was placed under the Law Enforcement Baker Act and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

Meanwhile, the Ferriters were charged with aggravated child abuse and one count of false imprisonment. The judge set the bond for each parent at $50,000 and they were ordered to have no contact with the child or any of the other children. Three other children who were living in the couple's home have since been placed into the custody of Child Protective Services.

An adopted teen boy was reportedly forced to live in a small locked structure inside the garage of Tracy and Timothy Ferriter for several years since 2017.  Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

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