(As originally published with additional photos and video, Mon, March 7th 2022, 5:30 PM EST)
JUPITER, Fla. (WPEC) – The couple in Jupiter, Florida, charged with aggravated child abuse for allegedly keeping their 14-year-old son locked in a box have had it demolished and removed from their garage.
CBS12 News has learned exclusively that happened over the weekend.
Last week, in an exclusive interview, the contractor hired by the couple in December to build the box told CBS12 News the family didn’t have the right permits for the project.
Now, CBS12 News has exclusive video showing a demo truck parked in front of Timothy and Tracy Ferriter’s home on Saturday.
Their lawyer told CBS12 News the town of Jupiter cited the couple three days after they were arrested in early February for not having the right permits for the project, making it an unpermitted structure.
Nellie King said they were ordered to tear it down and the Ferriters could’ve been subject to fines by Jupiter code enforcement.
She added in a statement, “The removal of the interior structure of the home was ordered by the Town of Jupiter with a deadline for compliance. This is a municipal issue carrying sanctions if it was not done, nothing more. All evidence has been documented. Any claim this was an effort to destroy evidence represents more disinformation being spread about this family.”
The Ferriters and the ‘boy in the box’ case:
- 2022-03-31 Ferriters claim kids hacked their email, want that info kept out of their abuse trial
- 2022-03-01 Contractor saw red flags in building box for couple charged with child abuse
- 2022-02-10 Lawyer: Boy in box ‘fantasizes about killing people’
- 2022-02-09 Inside a 14-year-old’s 8×8 garage ‘room’ and the punishments he endured
Patrick McKamey — a former Crimes Against Children and homicide prosecutor who became a criminal defense attorney — said he doesn’t think the state would have a compelling argument for tampering with evidence.
“The bottom line is the evidence was there since the time of the arrest,” he said.
And he thinks if anything, not having the box is better for the defense since a jury can’t be taken on a field trip to the garage, to see the box for themselves.
“It could certainly hurt the case in terms of the prosecution because you have a piece of valuable criminal evidence, which is the basis for the aggravate child abuse and the false imprisonment, that has now been destroyed and doesn’t exist,” McKamey explained. “It’s certainly going to be far more persuasive for a jury to walk into this chamber, this chamber, this room where this child was kept and view it themselves as opposed to see a video or photographs of it.”
CBS12 contacted the state attorney’s office and was told it doesn’t comment on ongoing criminal cases.
The Ferriters are awaiting trial and due in court again later this month.