Sweden: Mom arrested on suspicion of locking son up for decades | News | DW | 01.12.2020
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Sweden: Mom arrested on suspicion of locking son up for decades

A Swedish mother could face trial for locking up her son in an apartment for 28 years. The man was reportedly found in the flat south of Stockholm after a relative alerted police.

A mother in Sweden has been arrested on suspicion of locking her son inside their apartment for 28 years, leaving him undernourished and with almost no teeth, police and media reports said Tuesday.

"The mother is suspected of illegal deprivation of liberty and causing bodily harm," Stockholm police spokesman Ola Osterling told news agency AFP.

He said the man had been "locked up for a very long time" in the apartment in Haninge, south of Stockholm, but declined to confirm reports in dailies Expressen and Aftonbladet that he had been held for 28 years.

The reports said the mother had pulled her son out of school when he was 12 and kept him locked inside the apartment since then.

An unnamed relative found the man, now reported to be 41 years old, on Sunday after the mother, in her 70s, had been taken to hospital, Expressen reported. The man had infected sores on his legs, could barely walk, had almost no teeth and limited speech ability, the reports said.

Osterling would not comment on those details, saying only: "The man is in hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening."

The mother has denied the crimes, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.

The prosecutor must at the latest by midday Thursday request a court decision to place the mother in pre-trial detention.

The unidentified relative who found the man said the apartment looked like it had not been cleaned in years.

"There was urine, dirt and dust. It smelled rotten," she told Expressen, adding that she had to wade through piles of junk to get through the hallways. "No one could have cleaned that home for many years."

"I'm in shock, brokenhearted, but at the same time relieved. I've been waiting for this day for 20 years because I figured out that she was totally controlling his life, but I never imagined the extent of it," she said. "I'm just thankful that he got help and is going to survive."

mo/dr (AFP, dpa)

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