Sweetwater, FL — A Florida woman was arrested after she locked her 30-year-old autistic son in a “dungeon-like” back room in their trailer park home.
Gladys Jaramillo confessed to using a deadbolt and iron bars to keep her son locked in a room furnished with a mattress and nothing else. The window was blacked out and there were no lights. The rusted iron door could only be locked from the outside. The floor of the room was covered with human excrement, according to police.
“It’s very much like a dungeon. The first thing that comes to mind if you saw the room is dungeon,” police spokesperson Michelle Hammontree-Garcia said. “As soon as you walked in the door, the smell of urine and feces slapped you in the face.”
The 56-year-old said she kept her son locked in the room so she could go out with her boyfriend. She also gave him sedatives so he would sleep when she wasn’t home, according to the arrest affidavit.
An anonymous tipster called police and alerted them to the situation in the home. Neither Jaramillo nor her son were home when police and firefighters arrived, but they arrived later.
Jaramillo faces charges of aggravated abuse and neglect of a mentally disabled adult and false imprisonment, according to CBS Miami. She is being held on a $15,000 bond. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney. Her son was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center for scratches and bruises, but none of his injuries were life-threatening.
A neighbor told the Miami Herald, “He’s a troubled young man, but not aggressive. She is an irresponsible woman. One day we saw her son running in a diaper.”
The Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the case. The family has a previous history with the DCF, but a representative wouldn’t elaborate on the details.