A secluded shack, crumbling walls and filthy bedding. These were the horrifying conditions a mother and her two children were forced to survive in as they desperately clung to life in Brazil’s second city.
Chilling pictures reveal the reality of life in a house of horrors in Rio de Janeiro where an evil husband forced his wife and her two adult children to live as prisoners for almost two decades.
The woman and her children, aged 19 and 22 according to local media, were kept bound inside and suffered from severe dehydration and malnutrition for the 17 years they were held prisoner.
Eyewitnesses claim the two children look to be no older than 10 or 11 after enduring more than a decade of severe and debilitating abuse.
Rio’s military police were finally alerted to the tiny shack in an area of significant social deprivation in the west of Rio de Janeiro – known for its extreme poverty.
Officers found the three desperate prisoners ‘tied up, soiled and starved’, police revealed in a statement shortly after arresting the father, Luiz Antonio Santos Silva.
Reportedly known as ‘DJ’ by locals in Guaratiba for the loud music he used to screen out his victims’ screams, Silva was arrested following an anonymous tip off.
According to G1 news, the mother told authorities that she and her children would sometimes go three days without food and were regularly the victims of physical and psychological abuse.
She had never been allowed to work, and her kids were banned from attending school.
The woman had often attempted to flee from her husband’s clutches, but he threatened to kill her if she did, it was claimed.
Her husband, named as Luiz Antonio Santos Silva, with whom she had been married for 23 years, had told her she would only leave his home ‘when you’re dead,’ she said.
In pictures published by Brazilian media, the adult children looked like adolescents due to their malnutrition.
‘When we saw the state of the two children, we thought they wouldn’t have survived another week,’ one unnamed inhabitant of the Guaratiba neighborhood, where the family lived, told G1.
‘I tried to speak to the mother in the ambulance but she was so weak that she didn’t manage to make a sound.’
Neighbors told authorities that the suspect was given the nickname DJ because he would turn up the music to mask the screams of his victims.
An investigation is ongoing into Silva’s alleged crimes.