An Argentine couple is accused of keeping their adopted daughter locked up in a garage for seven years, feeding her bread and water, and occasionally food left over by a dog and a monkey that were kept with her.
Buenos Aires daily Clarín reports that the couple is expected in court next week to face charges of kidnapping, assault and forced labor.
In 2001, the couple became the girl's legal guardians after a court granted them custody because of the extreme poverty of her birth family, which eventually lost touch with her. The alleged abuse with her adoptive parents came to light after an older birth sister sought her out. Clarínreports the couple were allegedly devotees of Santa Muerte (Holy Death), a cult popular in some Latin American countries, and linked to criminal networks.
Police found the girl in November 2013 in the Villa Lugano district of Buenos Aires. She told authorities she was beaten intermittently and had left the garage just twice in seven years. Police say she appeared malnourished in contrast with the "perfectly fed" monkey, Clarín writes.