Judge grants bond for parents accused of keeping teen daughter locked in her room over months

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — A couple who are accused of holding their 18-year-old adopted daughter hostage in her room were granted bond by a judge on Wednesday.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes was in the packed Pickens County courtroom when Neil and Janet Farrell saw the judge. The hearing lasted more than eight hours.

Police say the couple kept their teen daughter locked up for months at a time and made her use a bucket when she had to use the bathroom. The teen escaped in June, walked 13 miles and asked a stranger for help, police say.

The couple is charged with exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, false imprisonment and cruelty to children in the first degree.

Prosecutors believed the couple is a flight risk, but the defense argued they are good people with too many ties to the community.

Marshall Thomas was one of several family members who testified in support of the Ferrells.

"They're good, loving parents," Thomas said on the stand.


Prosecutors say the couple beat their daughter with 10-inch industrial glue sticks and filmed her on surveillance cameras.

Video shown in court showed Neil Ferrell strike his daughter in the head and removing furniture from their daughter's room.

Thomas said he is now concerned about the couple's behavior.

"I'm concerned with finding out what really happened," he said.