A man in his 40s has been released after his mother apparently locked him up for 28 years.
He was found in appalling circumstances, with few teeth and hardly any language or ability to walk.
The 41-year-old man was severely malnourished with painful sores and open wounds on his legs.
Swedish media were told that the man had trouble walking and talking when medics found him in a Stockholm flat.
A 70-year-old woman has been arrested in the Swedish capital on suspicion of keeping her son imprisoned at home for up to three decades, police and a prosecutor said today.
A suspected family member was allowed access to the apartment on Sunday and found the man in a wounded state, prosecutor Emma Olsson told Reuters in Stockholm.
She said he may have been detained for nearly 30 years.
Several Swedish media outlets, citing a family member who found him, said the man was lying on a blanket on the floor, toothless, unable to speak, and covered in sores and injuries.
He was taken to hospital and had to undergo surgery.
“He’s now in hospital … I know he needed surgery,” said Olsson, who gave no further details about his condition.
The Expressen newspaper and others said the son was taken from school at about 12 years old.
He was found next to two 1995 and 1996 almanacs on the wall in the cluttered apartment, the relative was quoted as saying.
The hospital contacted the police, who arrested the mother. They cordoned off the flat in south Stockholm, while investigators on the spot are collecting evidence.
The mother has denied charges of false incarceration and grievous bodily harm, Olsson said in a statement.
Neither has been mentioned.
There was no immediate explanation as to why the son had been detained. Reuters was unable to contact family members for comment.
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet cites sources as saying that the mother was “very overprotective” of her son.
This came after a “family incident” that took place in the past, the paper reports.
Notified of the case by hospital staff treating the man, police dropped off the apartment in Stockholm’s southern Haninge neighborhood for investigation.
“We are investigating how long the son was imprisoned, but we assume it was a long time ago,” a police spokesman told Reuters.
Aftonblat reports that the man was found lying on a blanket, which may have been his bed, when the apartment was so cluttered that there were only small passages to go through.
While Expressing reports the female relative that the man thought the scene she encountered was like a horror movie, with urine, dirt and dust and a “rotten” smell.
She told the newspaper that she had suspected the man was being held in the flat for years and decided to explore the flat when she learned that the 70-year-old was in hospital.
She said, “That house could not have been cleaned for years. There was complete silence, except for an old big TV left on.”
At that moment she heard a noise from a dark corner of the kitchen.
“I noticed his legs for the first time. They looked terrible. Everything down to his knees were just sores and open wounds. Part of the calf was black and there were pools of pus underneath him,” she added.
He struggled to speak.
“I hadn’t seen him for over 20 years, but when our eyes met, he whispered my name over and over,” she added.
Neighbors reported that the woman would stop to talk, but would change the subject when asked about her son, replying only that he was “fine.”
An Advent candle left in the window of the apartment for 30 years highlighted the dilapidated state of the property.
The family member who found him told Expressen, “I am in shock, heartbroken, but relieved at the same time.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for 20 years because I found out she was in full control of his life, but I never thought how extensive it would be.”
She added: “The mother has been able to manipulate society all these years. It is terrible that he has been robbed all his life.”