Police want to find woman accused of enslaving girls

Date: 2006-03-14
Source: wcnc.com

MONROE -- Modern day slavery is how Union County sheriff’s investigators described a case in Monroe. Deputies said three girls have lived nearly their entire lives in servitude and abuse.

Sheriff’s investigators are looking to arrest Mercedes Farquharson. They believe she is in Spain.

They're waiting on the feds to go and get her all so that she can face abuse and slavery charges in Union County.

It’s been a long time since Jasmine and Holly Lloyd smiled freely and enjoyed the warm breeze and sunshine.

The sisters are learning to live normally after what they describe as more than a decade of darkness.

“(It was) draining very draining (and) very hard to cope. We just didn't think we could survive because sometimes there were times she would say she wishes she could kill us,” Holly Lloyd said.

“She'd hit you. She'd use canes, bamboo sticks and dog leashes. Multiple times she has strangled the three of us,” Jasmine Lloyd said.

They're talking about Mercedes Farquharson. The Lloyd sisters said their biological mother met her in London.

“She always met people through manipulation. When I was six she told our mother that she was the avatar. That’s the Indian version of a guru,” Jasmine Lloyd said.

Eventually the girls said Farquharson convinced their mother to let her adopt the two.

“Mercedes had told her that she would send us to school, but she didn't,” Jasmine Lloyd said.

Five years ago, Farquharson bought a home in Monroe and moved the girls here along with another adopted child named Emma.

Court documents said she forced the girls to work day and night without sleep breaks tending to hundreds of farm animals and more.

“We had to clean until we could eat off the floor or until you could see your face in the counter, but it was grueling,” Jasmine Lloyd said.

Years went by and the girls said the physical abuse escalated yet they never ran away.

“She had this commanding presence about her. We believed she was the Christ. I was six I think when I met her so I didn't really question that. I just grew up with that knowledge,” Jasmine Lloyd said.

Derrick Donle said he called DSS three years ago to report his then mother-in-law, Farquharson. Donle was married to Farquharson's biological daughter, Faith.

He said she married him to get a green card. Two weeks after she got it, she dumped him. Police confirmed that story.

“[Farquharson] actually stood on a Bible once and pointed to God in a very accusing way that she was the next coming." Donle said.

Donle said he saw the never-ending Farquharson made Jasmine and Holly Lloyd, and Farquharson's adopted daughter, Emma, do on the Union County farm.

“Basically just barked commands over an intercom,” Donle said. “From sun up to sun down, and even the wee hours of the morning."

After Donle called Union County DSS, the Lloyd’s said Farquharson fooled them.

The work continued. Chickens, dogs, ditches. Investigators say Farquharson fed the girls caffeine pills to keep them working. They accepted it.

Farquharson is facing five felony charges three for involuntary servitude and two for child abuse. If convicted she could get anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

The girls were rescued when neighbors called 911 in December. Social services now have custody of a 15-year-old who police said was also abused.

The Lloyd sisters are with a local family, but they still have concerns. They said authorities are looking to send the 15-year-old back to Hong Kong. That's where Farquharson’s husband is living.

The three have been through so much together and don't want to be separated. The daughters said Tuesday they're just learning how to live.

6NEWS reported Tony Burbeck contributed to this report.

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