Woman freed after 18 years

An Italian woman whose family kept her locked in a room for almost two decades after she was accused of becoming pregnant out of wedlock has been freed by police, authorities and media reports said.

Police said they found the 47-year-old woman Friday in a filthy room in the family's home near Naples.

The woman was being hospitalized Saturday in the psychiatric ward of a Naples hospital, the ANSA news agency reported.

Authorities arrested the woman's brother and sister, who worked in a nursery school, and put her 80-year-old mother under house arrest. The three were being investigated on suspicion of mistreatment and kidnapping.

Authorities said that the woman had been locked up in the room since 1990 because of an unwanted pregnancy and that she was kept in “indescribable” conditions.

Italian TV showed the room with a bed with soiled sheets and a dirty toilet and sink, as well as plastic bottles of water and tin bowls.

Police said the woman's son, now 17, was living with relatives in town and didn't know about his mother.

An anonymous tip led police to the house along a country road on the outskirts of the rural town of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, police said. The La Stampa daily said the tip came from a neighbor who complained of the stench rising from the room where the woman was held.