A 70-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of having locked her son in their apartment for 28 years in eastern Stockholm, Sweden. The 41-year-old man is said to be malnourished and devoid of teeth.
It was discovered while his mother was in the hospital last month after a relative managed to enter the apartment. There she found the man lying on the floor covered with sores.
According to reports, the woman withdrew her son from school at the age of 12 and has kept him indoors ever since.
“The mother is suspected of unlawful deprivation of liberty and bodily harm,” Stockholm police spokesman Ola Osterling said.
“The man is in the hospital. His injuries are not life threatening, ”Osterling added.
Swedish prosecutors said the elderly woman denied the crimes. The building is located in the suburb of Handen in the municipality of Haninge. Police put duct tape on the apartment door after crime scene technicians left the scene.
It was reported that the relative said the house appeared to have not been cleaned in years.
The family member, wishing to remain anonymous, said: “I am in shock, heartbroken but at the same time relieved. I’ve been waiting for this day for 20 years because I realized that she was totally in control of her life but I never imagined the extent of it.”
“I knew he was there and he must have been afraid because his mother was his only sense of security and now she was gone,” she added.
According to local media, an unidentified neighbour said she ran into the man at a nearby grocery store a few months ago.
“I know who you are, you are my neighbour,” the man had told her, recognizing her after seeing her through the window, she said.
Other neighbours told reporters they had not seen the man for a long time and wondered why social services or the school had not checked on the boy even though he had not gone to class all those years ago.