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Shock collar seized from Taylor County home of couple charged with child abuse

GBI agents seized a canine shock collar that a Taylor County couple allegedly used to punish their adopted teenage daughter.

The collar was sitting on a table in the Butler home of Diana and Samuel Franklin on Tuesday when Diana Franklin was arrested, said Wayne Smith, the special agent in charge of the GBI’s Columbus field office.

The couple was charged with child cruelty and false imprisonment after allegations that they had locked the 15-year-old girl inside a chicken coop, an outhouse and a storage building for days at a time.

Smith said the collar is being tested for DNA.

Authorities previously searched the home June 4, specifically looking for the collar, but didn’t find it that day, Smith said.

The girl was removed from the Franklins’ home May 25 after the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services received a complaint of abuse at the home and paid a visit.

Smith said the Franklins have biological children, all sons. One is in college. Another is in the military. A third son, age 17, still lives at home.

Diana Franklin, 44, is charged with 12 counts of cruelty to children and four counts of false imprisonment. Samuel Franklin, 46, is charged with eight counts of cruelty to children and eight counts of false imprisonment, according to the GBI.

The Franklins were released on bond Tuesday.

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