‘Toothless and Malnourished’ Man Freed After 28 Years Trapped in His House

The man, now in his early forties, had not been seen since he was 12. His mother has been arrested on suspicion of imprisoning him in their home.
December 2, 2020, 12:15pm
Forensic police enter the apartment in Sweden where the man was found. Photo: Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
Forensic police enter the apartment in Sweden where the man was found. Photo: Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

A woman in her seventies has been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of locking her son inside their apartment for almost three decades.

The man, now in his early-forties, was reportedly pulled out of school when he was 12, and had not been seen for the last 28 years.

He was only found at an apartment in Haninge, a suburb south of the Swedish capital Stockholm, when a relative gained access to the flat while the man’s mother was being treated in hospital.

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The man is now receiving care in hospital for injuries that Swedish prosecutors would not disclose, but it has been reported by Sweden’s Expressen newspaper that he was undernourished when he was found, covered in sores, and had almost no teeth remaining. None of his injuries are understood to be life-threatening.

The man’s mother is suspected of illegal deprivation of liberty, and causing grievous bodily harm, police in Stockholm said.

“I’m in shock, brokenhearted, but at the same time relieved. I’ve been waiting for this day for 20 years,” the relative who found the man told Expressen.

While the relative was not immediately identified, in an interview with broadcaster SVT she said she was the man’s sister. She said she moved out of the apartment as a teenager, and had not seen her brother since.

Swedish prosecutors said they were interviewing witnesses and carrying out a crime scene investigation at the flat, which has been cordoned off.