Man says he spoke out about slaves on farm years ago

Date: 2006-03-15
Source: wcnc.com

By TONY BURBECK / 6NEWS

A man said he lived on a Union County farm where a woman allegedly kept three slaves and he said he tried to tell officials there was something wrong.

Derrick Donle said he called DSS three years ago to report his then mother-in-law, Mercedes Farquharson, and the modern day slaves in her house.

The girls left their home three months ago after someone else complained.

Now those girls said fear is why they helped hide the truth.

"People don't believe our story, but it's true. I could never make this up," said Holly Lloyd, one of the women who said she was held as a slave on the farm.

"Always screaming, swearing," said Jasmine Lloyd, another of the women who said she was enslaved. "She used strangling on all three of us."

"She would say, you know, she wishes she could kill us," said Holly.

Donle said he saw it.

"Basically just barked commands over an intercom," Donle said of his former mother-in-law.

That's how Farquharson told Jasmine and Holly Lloyd, and Farquharson's adopted daughter Emma, to do their never ending work on a Union County farm.

"From sunup to sundown and even the wee hours of the morning," an investigator on the case told 6NEWS.

Donle asked why and was told that it was none of his business.

He called Union County DSS three years ago. The Lloyd's said when DSS came Farquharson fooled them.

"It's a fine house, there's no problem in there," said Jasmine.

The work continued. Investigators said Farquharson fed the girls cafeeine pills to keep them working.

"We started calling her mommy," said Jasmine.

Farquharson was all that they knew.

"She was your mother, she was your Christ," said Jasmine.

They couldn't leave.
"If you do this you are my Judas," said Jasmine.

"(Farquharson) actually stood on a bible once and pointed to God in a very accusing way that she was the next coming," said Donle.

The concern is keeping Emma, 15, in DSS custody and keeping her from being sent to Farquharson's husband in China.

"Mercedes' husband is going to turn her right back over to Mercedes, and that's not going to be a good thing," said Donle.

Donle was married to Farquharson's biological daughter, Faith.

He said she married him to get a green card and two weeks after she got it, she dumped him.

Police confirm that story.

Now the Lloyd daughters say they're just learning how to live.

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