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Prosecutors: No Proof Mom Imprisoned Her Son

Swedish authorities let elderly woman go, but they're still trying to figure out events of last 30 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2020 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – An elderly mother suspected of keeping her 40-something son imprisoned in their Stockholm apartment for nearly 30 years had insisted to authorities that wasn't true. Now, she's been released from custody after Swedish prosecutors decided Wednesday to drop the case against her, saying they don't have enough evidence that her son was kept against his will. The man had been found over the weekend in the squalid residence, suffering from sores on his legs and dental issues, after his mother was hospitalized. "We haven't found any indications that he has been locked up, tied up, or physically prevented from leaving," prosecutor Emma Olsson tells AFP, via the BBC. "There are no indications that there have been locked spaces."

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"The man himself has said that it was up to him if he wanted to leave the apartment," Olsson adds, noting locals had occasionally seen him outside. The man's sister, who found him on Sunday, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that she hadn't seen her brother since she moved out of the apartment as a teen, but that he still recognized her "when he saw her" over the weekend, "[standing] up and [whispering] her name again and again." Olsson did say the mother is still a suspect, just that there isn't enough evidence to hold her for now, per Reuters. She adds that authorities continue to investigate, including on what happened with the man's schooling. "One can question her suitability as a mother, but this is now up to social services to look into," Olsson tells AFP. (Read more Sweden stories.)

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