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Sweetwater Police: Autistic Man Found Kept In Dungeon-Like Conditions

SWEETWATER (CBS4) — Police in Sweetwater said they discovered a "dungeon-like" room inside a trailer home Thursday where a 30-year-old man with autism is believed to have been held.

The call that came into police was anonymous, but led them to 11250 Northwest Third Street around 5 p.m. Thursday.

According to the caller, the man was kept by his mother in a small, gated room and she would leave him for long periods of time.

Police identified the mother as 56-year-old Gladys Jaramillo.

Pictures taken by investigators and shared with CBS 4 News showed a bare mattress against a wall and what appeared to be traces of human waste on the floor.

"It's very much like a dungeon. The first thing that comes to mind if you saw the room is dungeon," Sweetwater Police Spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree said. "There was a strong smell of urine and feces. Straight from the living room, you could smell it."

A window leading to the man's room was blacked-out and the A/C unit was missing from the wall.

There was a lock on the outside of a back door. Police on scene said it was probably there so the man could not escape if he tried.

One neighbor told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana the man would sometimes run out of the house in diapers looking for food.

An arrest affidavit stated Jaramillo would also give the man pills to sedate him. In addition, the arrest affidavit stated that the man was kept in the room with iron bars locking him inside and Jaramillo told police she would go out on numerous occasions with her boyfriend leaving the man home alone.

Other neighbors could not believe what police found behind the cheery peach facade.

"I don't see nothing abnormal," Mario Rostran said. "It's a surprise for everybody here."

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assisted getting into the home because no one was home at the time.

Jaramillo and her son arrived while cops were on scene.

A friend who stopped by, Thursday night, described Jaramillo as "a hardworker, a fighter" who does her best to care for her special needs son.

Jaramillo left the police department just after 10 o'clock Thursday night, bound for the Miami-Dade County Jail.

"It's just unthinkable to think a mother would have her child this way," Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marono said.

Police have not yet released the exact charges Jaramillo will be facing.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating.

The 30-year-old man was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

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