World

Man locks wife, son in cage for years

He forces autistic son to eat dog food

An Argentinian kept his wife and autistic son locked in a cage for years, a judicial source said on Saturday.

He also forced the son to eat dog food and breathe gasoline fumes in the cage made of bricks, wood and metal bars, reported AFP.

The cage was littered with bags of human excrement, dog food, used syringes, gasoline cans, locks, chains and rope which the man apparently used to tie up his wife and son.

"This is a story of terror. To enter that house is to witness true madness," the source added.

The suspect is 66-year-old former construction worker Eduardo Oviedo. His wife is 61 and the son 32.

His son can barely speak and the wife has psychiatric problems, the source said.

Oviedo allegedly fed his wife and son through the bars of the cage.

Police, acting on a tip-off from relatives of the family, raided the house in the Argentine beach resort of Mar del Plata and arrested Oviedo.

He will be charged with kidnapping and keeping his family in conditions of servitude.

Oviedo will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

He faces 15 years in prison if convicted but, because of aggravating circumstances, his sentence could be as much as life behind bars.

Other children of Oviedo live in the same neighbourhood but were afraid of him and remained silent for a long time before eventually reporting him.

It is not clear how many years he kept his family in these conditions.

Both victims were in a hospital on Saturday.

VIOLENT

One of Oviedo's daughters-in-law described him as a violent man who often made threats, the judicial source said.

"Once he came with a hatchet in his hand when we asked him to bathe his wife and disabled son," the woman told investigators.

Oviedo did not resist when the police raided the house.

He denies the charges against him.

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