A Brazilian woman and her two children were freed by police in Rio de Janeiro in an advanced state of malnutrition after being detained by her husband in appalling conditions for 17 years, we learned from a police source on Friday.
“Two young men, said to be the children of the woman and the suspect, were tied up, covered in mud and malnourished,” Rio’s military police explained in a press release, who arrested the father of the family.
Authorities were alerted by the anonymous complaint and a police operation was launched on Thursday in Guaratiba, a popular district west of the city.
According to local media, the woman and her two children, aged 19 and 22, were hospitalized shortly after their release in a state of “dehydration and severe malnutrition,” according to municipal health services.
According to the G1 News website, the mother of the family told authorities that they sometimes went three days without food and that they were subjected to constant physical and psychological attacks.
“You have to be with me until the end, you don’t get out of here until you die,” said her husband, Luiz Antonio Santos Silva, to whom she has been married for 23 years.
Images reproduced in Brazilian media show the two children, both adults, looking like teenagers due to their malnutrition.
“When we saw the state in which the two children came out, we said to ourselves that they will not live another week. I tried to talk to the mother in the ambulance, but she couldn’t make the slightest sound, she was too weak,” a Guaratiba resident told the G1 site.
Neighbors told authorities the alleged torturer was nicknamed “DJ” because he would turn up the music to drown out the screams of his victims.
Some claim that the denunciations took place two years ago without the intervention of the authorities.