The Taylor County home of the Franklins where the abuse allegedly happened. (photo by Austin Lewis/13WMAZ.com)
UPDATED AT 6:15PM
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the Taylor County Sheriff's Office are investigating reports that a couple kept a teenage girl locked up for months in a chicken coop.
That's according to Rodney Wall of the GBI office in Columbus. He would not give details or describe where the tip came from.
VIEW: Incident Report
The Taylor Sheriff's Office says deputies went last Friday to a home on East Old Wire Road.
They stood by as officers from the state Department of Family and Children Services took the girl from the home of Samuel and Diana Franklin in Butler.
Sheriff Jeff Watson said the girl was allegedly "kept in captivity." He said they received reports a 15-year-old girl was being padlocked inside a building without food and water outside the couple's home.
"At first the mother didn't want to talk to DFCS workers," Watson said, "but then she changed her mind and the daughter talked to DCFS workers and then DFCS took custody of her, took her away from the house."
WMAZ's Austin Lewis said Watson could not confirm what type of structure the girl was reportedly kept inside, just that they are looking into whether it was a chicken coop, a shed or a barn.
"That's basically what we're investigating whether it was child abuse, a padlocked building outside not fed or whether she was in a chicken coop or what, still child abuse and that's what we're investigating."
So far, no one has been charged, but Watson says if the allegations are proven true, "They will be (charged), but we have to investigate it to make sure these allegations are true."
The GBI will be taking over the case, but they had not yet arrived Wednesday afternoon and may not until Thursday.
A neighbor of the couple, who would not identify themselves, told 13WMAZ's Austin Lewis that the charges are not true. She said the girl is 15 years old and adopted and called her "a sweet girl."
The 15-year-old remains in protective custody with DFCS.
WMAZ will continue following this story and make details known as they become available.
VIEW: Incident Report