Sweden: Mother kept son locked up for 28 years

News Desk

A woman in Sweden suspected of holding her son captive inside her apartment for decades has been arrested. The man was found undernourished with infected sores on his body and almost no teeth.

According to AFP, Stockholm police spokesman Ola Osterling said that the man had been locked up for a very long time in the apartment in a southern Stockholm suburb but refused to comment on local reports he had been held for 28 years.

The woman had taken her son out of school when he was 12 and kept him locked inside the apartment since then, an unnamed relative found the man on Sunday after the mother had been taken to hospital, according to Expressen and Aftonbladet newspapers reports, adding that the man had infected sores on his legs, could barely walk, and had almost no teeth, limiting his ability to speak.

Neighbours said they had not seen the son, now 41, for years or ever. “I grew up here so I’ve always known who she is and recognised her. She’s a little strange,” a 24-year-old who lives in the building next door Tove Boman said. She said that she had only seen the mother.

Osterling would not comment on those details, saying only: “The man is in hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening.” The woman is suspected of illegal deprivation of liberty and causing bodily harm — allegations she denies.

One woman told Aftonbladet she found it odd that their window was never open, and the same candlestick had been in the window for 30 years.

“But what can you do? How do you know what’s going on behind closed doors? It’s all so awful, you can’t believe it’s true,” she said.