Olivia Farrell (pictured), b. 2001, was beaten and imprisoned by her adoptive parents, Neil and Janet Farrell. Olivia was homeschooled. Olivia’s three older sisters, who were also adopted, were not reported to be abused.
The Farrells began caring for Olivia when she was 5 months old. Janet Farrell had previously been a certified teacher and homeschooled Olivia K-12. The family were faithful attendees and donors at Life Bible Church in Holly Springs, GA, and their oldest adopted daughter Ashlyn was a missionary to Papua New Guinea. According to the Farrells, Olivia had Reactive Attachment Disorder as well as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which allowed them to maintain active guardianship over Olivia even though she was an adult.
The Farrells beat Olivia’s buttocks and feet with 10-inch industrial glue sticks, taking care to hide the bruises. As punishment for non-aggressive behavior, they kept Olivia locked in her room for weeks and months at a time with limited food and only sometimes a bucket for a toilet. “All furniture in the room would be moved out, [and the Farrells] would also monitor Olivia’s activity with video and audio recorders.”
The abuse came to light when Olivia escaped from the Farrells’ home and was declared missing and possibly endangered. During the course of the search, investigators became suspicious of the Farrells’ behavior. Olivia was found the next day, having travelled approximately 15 miles on foot, whereupon she reported the abuse. The Farrells were charged with cruelty to children, false imprisonment, and exploitation of a disabled adult.
Date: June 23, 2018
Location: Bent Tree Community, Pickens County, Georgia