According to Dailymail, the rescued man disappeared at age 16. He was reportedly spotted by the officers tied to a bed in a tiny, windowless room of the house in Sao Paulo. He was found with ‘enormous’ toenails and fingernails and a long beard which had grown to his knees, according to witnesses, while police officers who found him described him as ‘malnourished’. Police believe he lived in virtual darkness for two decades in a room without light fittings, while the floor was reportedly covered in human faeces.
A 36-year-old Brazilian man who was allegedly held captive by his father and step-mother in the basement of their home for at least 20 years has been rescued. The man gained freedom from captivity after policemen in Brazil came across Armando de Andrade by accident while searching homes looking for members of a drugs gang.
Police chief Celso Marchiori, who is investigating the case, said of the moment policemen found him: ‘He got up, very impaired and didn’t speak a word. We took him outside and he still didn’t say anything. We didn’t know if he was scared or drugged. ‘He wasn’t able to identify us as police officers. We called for help and he was taken straight to hospital. ‘It’s difficult to believe he was in that place for 20 years. It’s a very insanitary place, he wouldn’t have survived. There’s no light at all.’ Neighbours in the Guarulhos district of Sao Paulo, southeast Brazil, recalled how Armando was a normal 16-year-old, who liked skateboarding and playing the guitar, when he suddenly disappeared.
Never seen again by his friends, Armando’s family always claimed he had moved to another part of Brazil and was ‘doing well’. One neighbour, Aparecido Rocha Brasil, said he believed the teenager’s father and step-mother decided to lock him in the room after he started experimenting with alcohol. He told Brazil’s Globo News TV channel: ‘Every teenager is curious about these things. But for some reason, when alcohol entered into his life, his family decided to take this approach, and kept him locked up for all this time.’
Ederson Silva, a childhood friend of Armando, said: ‘Whenever we asked about him they always said the same thing, no, he’s living in the northeast, he’s well, he’s working, he’s building his family there. That’s all they said to us.’ Armando’s father Amancio de Andrade denied the allegations, claiming that his son left home aged 18 and returned last week, and asked him to lock him in the room as he wanted to get clean from drug addiction.
He said: ‘He’s a grown man. He never got in touch. Then last week I opened my door and he was there. He gave him food and let him stay in the basement room. He asked me to lock the door so he couldn’t get out.’ Armando is being cared for in the psychiatric ward of a local hospital, where he is reportedly too traumatised to speak. Police have launched an investigation while Armando’s father and step-mother, who have not yet been arrested, have reportedly fled their home following aggression from angry neighbours.
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