German police free woman held captive by mother, likely 'for years'

2016-04-19 22:54


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - German police on Tuesday freed a mentally disabled 26-year-old woman who was believed to have been locked away in an apartment by her own mother, possibly for years.

The young woman was found in a "physically run-down and neglected state" in a rubbish-strewn flat in the southern city of Rosenheim, a police spokesperson said, adding that she had been sent to a psychiatric hospital.

"Communicating with her is very, very difficult," the spokesprson, Stefan Sonntag, told the dpa press agency.

Police discovered the captive by chance while carrying out an eviction order.

As they sought to enter the apartment, the 54-year-old tenant, who is believed to be the captive's mother, threw herself down the stairwell shaft from the second floor in an apparent suicide attempt, the spokesperson said.

The woman suffered severe injuries from the fall and was taken to hospital.

When officers subsequently entered the apartment they broke down a locked door and discovered the younger woman.

"We believe that this is the tenant's daughter, who was in a physically run-down state and who had lived in there for a long time, maybe even for years," Sonntag told local news site

An unidentified neighbour told the news site that he had lived next door since 2003, but had never seen the 26-year-old.

Another neighbour estimated that the young woman had been held inside for five years, after leaving a mental institution.

That neighbour said the young woman would cry out and knock on the walls at night.

"One time, last year, she managed to get out of the apartment. When we saw her we didn't think there was anything unusual going on," the neighbour told dpa, adding that the mother would refuse any offer of help.

German media, citing locals, said a younger brother, aged around 15, also lived in the house with the two women.

Read more on:    germany

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.