Police rescue 14-year-old boy 'locked up at home since birth' by parents

The teenager was allegedly forced to live in a cage for some of the time

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The Independent Online

A 14-year-old boy whose parents allegedly kept him confined in the family home for his entire life has been freed and taken into care. 

Police in the Israeli city of Hadera said said they found the teenager “in a severe state of neglect” after they broke into the apartment. 

Called in by neighbours because of the stench emanating from building, officers said they had expected to find a body. Instead they found the boy and his parents, both of whom are in their 60s.   

Investigators quickly established that the teenager was sometimes kept in a homemade cage made of scrap metal outside the apartment. He was let out at night into a nearby courtyard once or twice a month. 

His parents, who are believed to be from Russia, moved to Hadera eight years ago. They failed to register that they had a child with the local government.

During police questioning, they denied they had abused their son and claimed that serious medical problems had made his confinement necessary.

A neighbour told local army radio he called the authorities after seeing the boy through a window looking like “a zombie in a horror film”.

He said: “I saw his eyes and the way he looked, which said ‘help me'." 

Investigators concluded the parents did not intend to harm the child and they were released on probation.

The boy is being cared for by social services while he undergoes a thorough medical examination.