Police in China's Guangdong province say they have a freed a 34-year-old man who had been forced to work as a factory slave for 18 years, reports the South China Morning Post. Xie Shisheng was gaunt, terrified of leaving his locked room, and unsure about what year it was, reports the Shanghaiist, which rounds up local media reports. His captors, a couple who ran the underground workshop that produced quilts and pillows, fled before police arrived to check out a tip about their illegal operation.
“Whenever I struggled, they would hit me over the head with an iron hammer," says Xie. "The female owner would also sit on my body and urinated over me.” Authorities say Xie left his home in Jiangxi voluntarily at the age of 16 for a job with the couple, who then cut off his contact with the outside world and made him their slave. A neighbor says he heard screams at night from the workshop, but didn't alert authorities because he thought it was parents disciplining a child. (Read more prisoner stories.)