BUTLER, GA (WTVM) -
News Leader 9 showed up Wednesday to talk with the adoptive mother of the girl taken away by Child Services in Butler, GA. She did not want to talk, but several people who live in the area say they’ve been worried about the 15-year-old girl.
One neighbor told News Leader 9 the girl was disciplined and forced to live in a small red chicken coop at the back of the house, only to be moved to a workshop building when her behavior improved.
Several neighbors and witnesses said they watched the girl performing heavy manual labor including lifting large rocks, for hours in the extreme heat. Steven Balis said, ”I’ve seen her out working in the gardens, digging ditches in the hot sun with two or three older boys watching her. I’ve seen her toting rocks up the road; she looked like she was in rough shape.”
David Spillers, a neighbor, said, ”It was hot weather, I mean it was hot, hot. I’ve never known them to go to school. I don’t know if they’re homeschooled.”
One neighbor said she was told by the mother that the girl was homeschooled but the girl would spend her days outside. When her parents felt she needed more work for the day, they said she was forced to go to a neighbor’s house to clean and scrub the home.
“Around here everybody works, but they don’t work their daughters like that,” said Balis.
Discipline seemed to be the theme of the household according to witnesses. They say the girl was fed very little, and for a few weeks she was fed just bread and water for discipline.
We were also told, in a moment of the parent’s anger, the girl’s long blonde ringlets were cut off and she was given a boy’s bowl haircut.
The girl was taken into custody by the Department of Family and Child Services. No charges have been filed, at this time, but the GBI continues to investigate the case.
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