ROME (AP) 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, a farmhand, 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.
The Carabinieri paramilitary police said in a statement 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.
Police were trying to find the man with whom she had conceived the child in the hope that he could help clarify whether her psychiatric problems predated her forced segregation in the home or were caused by it, ANSA said.
The Corriere della Sera and La Stampa dailies compared the story with several recent cases of people held in captivity in neighboring Austria.
Josef Fritzl is accused of fathering seven children with a daughter he held captive underground for 24 years in the family's home west of Vienna and keeping three of the children in the cellar too.In another Austrian case, Natascha Kampusch was abducted at age 10 and held in an underground cell for 8 1/2 years by her kidnapper. Within hours of her escape, her kidnapper committed suicide by leaping in front of a commuter train.