A 36-year-old Brazilian man who was allegedly tied to a bed and locked at the basement of their home,by his father and step-mother for 20 years was freed on Monday, October 24, by policemen.
Armando de Andrade who disappeared at age 16 was accidentally discovered during a search process by the police while looking for members of a drug gang. He was discovered tied to a bed in a tiny, windowless room of their house in Sao Paulo.
According to reports, neighbours who asked after him were told he had traveled. His family always claimed he had moved to another part of Brazil and was ‘doing well’ for himself. Neighbours said Armando was a normal 16-year-old who loved skateboarding and playing guitar. Armando’s childhood friend, Ederson Silva, said: “Whenever we asked about him they always said the same thing, 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 was however found with ‘enormous’ toenails and fingernails and a long beard which had grown to his knees, looking totally ‘malnourished’. The 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.
Police chief, Celso Marchiori, said: “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.”
Armando’s father, Amancio de Andrade, has denied holding him captive, claiming his son left home when he was 18, returned last week, and asked him to lock him in the room to help him ‘get clean’ from drug addiction. The father said: “He’s a grown man. He never got in touch. Then last week I opened my door and he was there. I gave him food and let him stay in the basement room. He asked me to lock the door so he couldn’t get out.”