ALICANTE, Spain – Two Swiss teens who had been trapped in their home for more than seven years were rescued in Spain, police reported on Saturday.
In a statement, police said the brother and sister, 15 and 17 years old respectively, were kept in their home in the eastern coastal town of Catral and did not attend school nor receive medical attention, living completely isolated from society.
Officers arrested their mother, 49, and her partner, 30, both accused of illegal detaining the minors and abuse.
They were discovered when the elder sister asked a child protection agency for help via e-mail while the mother was distracted.
She said the abuse they suffered was continuous, and their mother would frequently hit them and throw things at them, including silverware.
The police statement said the two teens were forbidden from accessing any technology, including the phone and internet.
The siblings had been kept inside the home since they were brought to Spain by their mother in March 2009.
The family would move every eight or nine months and had lived in seven different houses over the course of seven years, all of them in villages in the eastern Alicante region.
The two siblings were taken to a children’s hospital before the elder sister was taken back to Switzerland by her biological father and the younger brother received court permission to return to the family home.