A 57-year-old man has been arrested for kidnapping his girlfriend and holding her captive for 22 years – chaining her to a bed and beating her.
According to local media, the 42-year-old victim was just 19 when she was taken hostage and chained to a bed in her boyfriend’s home in the neighbourhood of Cura in the city of Rosario located in the north-eastern Argentine province of Santa Fe.
She managed to break free when the suspect, 57-year-old Oscar R., felt sick and rushed to the bathroom, leaving the front door unlocked.
Pictures Credit: CEN
The victim, whose identity has been protected by the authorities, grabbed his mobile phone, some cash and ran outside where she soon bumped into a relative she had not seen in decades.
The family members chatted at a petrol station and the victim then reported the alleged crime at a nearby police station.
Oscar R. was arrested a few days later, according to reports.
Prosecutor Luciana Vallarella told local media that the suspect has been charged with kidnapping and assault and could be sentenced to between two and six years if found guilty.
Reports did not mention if the victim suffered sexual abuse during her 22 years in captivity, but the formal charges do not currently include a sex offence.
However, the prosecutor did say that the woman suffered gender violence since the very start of their relationship and that he regularly beat and threatened her.
When she was a teenager and her family first learned of the alleged abuse, they tried to intervene.
According to local media, that was when the suspect first decided to keep the woman as his hostage.
He reportedly threatened to hurt the victim’s young son from a previous relationship to make her cooperate.
Oscar R. also allowed the victim to communicate with her family over the phone, but told her what to say, according to prosecutor Vallarella.
Eventually over time, relatives believed that she no longer wanted to keep in contact with them.
According to local media, the victim was occasionally allowed to leave the house in the company of Oscar R., but had to shave her head and dress like a man.
Meanwhile, reports said that the suspect’s parents have been linked to the case as possible accomplices, although it is currently unclear whether they have been arrested yet.
Both parents lived on a different floor in the same property so it is suspected that they must have known about the alleged kidnapping.
According to local media, the suspect is being held in custody for 60 days as the investigation continues.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.