Melbourne, June 16 : An Italian woman kept prisoner by her family for almost two decades for having a baby out of wedlock has been rescued by the police.
Maria Monaco, 47, was rescued by police after being found huddled in the corner of her filthy bedroom.
The case has shocking similarities to that of Elisabeth Fritzl, the Austrian woman kept in a cellar and regularly raped by father Josef for 24 years.
Monaco was found by police at Santa Maria Capua Vetere, a small town just outside Naples, after an anonymous tip-off.
Her brother and sister, accused of detaining her, are in custody.
According to police, Monaco, who suffers from psychological problems, was made a prisoner shortly after falling pregnant with her child, now a 17-year-old student.
Her mother Anna Rosa Golino, 80, brother Prisco, 44, a farmer, and sister Michelina, 54, a primary school teacher, took action after she had an affair with a mystery man and got pregnant.
"We received an anonymous tip-off that a woman was being held and we raided the family home on rural land on the outskirts of the town. Maria was found in her locked bedroom in a confused state and surrounded with filth and excrement she was living in squalor," The Daily Telegraph quoted Capt Carmine Rosciano, of Santa Maria Capua Vetere police, as saying.
She is now in hospital in Naples being treated for her trauma, while her mother was bailed.