The 11-year-old boy kept in a barrel for a month had been placed there by his dad for “taking food without permission”.
Cops rescued the youngster after they received a tip-off from neighbours who noticed the boy had stopped playing in the street in the Brazilian municipality of Campinas on 30th January.
Officers entered the boy’s home, where they found him inside the barrel and subsequently arrested his father, 31, his father’s girlfriend, 39, and her daughter, 22, on suspicion of torture.
According to officers, the boy was forced to stand in the barrel at all times and was even obliged to urinate and defecate in it.
Officers reported finding him naked, debilitated, and with signs of malnutrition, and they also said his legs were swollen as he was unable to sit properly or squat.
The boy has since told the police that he was kept chained and padlocked in the barrel for around a month, allegedly for “taking food without permission”.
He told the medical team who attended to him following his rescue that he had even been forced to spend New Year’s Eve inside the barrel, and was reportedly fed banana peels and raw cornmeal during his time in the barrel.
According to relatives of the victim, the crime went undiscovered for so long because the family stopped receiving visits.
In addition to the alleged torture, the boy’s father will also be investigated for ‘intellectual abandonment’ as it was found the victim was not enrolled in school last year.
Despite being mistreated by his father, whose name has not been disclosed, the victim reportedly asked about his dad’s welfare as he was being treated in hospital.
The three suspects remain in preventive detention as charges against them are formalised, and the boy remains under the care of the state and is awaiting a court decision on his future.
An aunt has reportedly offered to take care of him but the authorities will only reach a decision once the relevant checks have been made.
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