Parents arrested, girl allegedly forced to live in chicken coop - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Parents arrested, girl allegedly forced to live in chicken coop

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Diana and Samuel Franklin of Butler, GA (Source: Taylor County Sheriff's Office) Diana and Samuel Franklin of Butler, GA (Source: Taylor County Sheriff's Office)
BUTLER, GA (WTVM) -

The parents accused of keeping their teen daughter in a chicken coop have been arrested. 

Authorities arrested Diana and Samuel Franklin of Butler, GA Tuesday around 7:00 a.m. 

Diana Franklin is facing 12 counts of cruelty to children and 4 counts of false imprisonment. Samuel Franklin has been charged with 8 counts of cruelty to children and 8 counts of false imprisonment. 

Their arrests stemmed from an ongoing child abuse investigation that began in late May when the Department of Family and Children Services received information a child was kept in a storage shed, a chicken coop and an outhouse for days at a time - possibly without food and water. 

One neighbor told WTVM the 15-year-old girl was disciplined and forced to stay in a small red chicken coop behind 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 large rocks, for hours, in the extreme heat."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, "said Steven Balis.

The girl was taken into temporary custody late May by the Department of Family and Child Services. 

An attorney representing the couple denies the allegations.

News Leader 9 will continue to follow this story. 

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