Stockholm police have arrested a 70-year-old woman on suspicion of keeping her 41-year-old son locked in their apartment for nearly three decades, Swedish investigators said on Tuesday.
The woman, who denied wrongdoing, was detained on suspicion of unlawful deprivation of liberty and grievous bodily harm, said prosecutor Emma Olson, who is leading the preliminary investigation.
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Olson said the 41-year-old son was found by a relative, who then alerted authorities. He was admitted to hospital to be treated for “the physical injuries he had when he was found.”
The relative found the man on Sunday after learning that the mother was admitted to hospital, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported. She arrived at the apartment and found the door unlocked.
The unidentified relative told the daily that she had come in to find “urine, dirt and dust” everywhere and “smells rotten”.
She said she heard a noise from the kitchen and found the man sitting on blankets and pillows in a dark corner. He had no teeth, wounds on his legs and his speech was slurred, according to a relative. But she said he was not afraid of her.
“It was like getting into a nightmare,” the relative was quoted as saying by state television SVT.
The mother became “overprotective” after losing another child at an early age, giving her son the same name as the child who died, a relative of the store said.
The report says the boy was taken out of school in seventh grade when his captivity began 28 years ago at the age of 13.
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Olson said investigators would interview the mother, son and witnesses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.