South Florida Man With Autism Was Being Kept in "Dungeon-Like Conditions" in Sweetwater Trailer Home, Police Say

Police said his small room has a blacked-out window, no lighting, and a lock only accessible from the outside

By Edward B. Colby and Steve Litz
|  Friday, Aug 2, 2013  |  Updated 12:46 PM PDT
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Police discovered Thursday that a 30-year-old man with autism was being kept in “dungeon-like conditions” in a Sweetwater trailer home, authorities said. Sweetwater Police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia discussed the case.

Police discovered Thursday that a 30-year-old man with autism was being kept in “dungeon-like conditions” in a Sweetwater trailer home, authorities said. Sweetwater Police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia discussed the case.

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Official Talks About "Dungeon-Like" Conditions at Home of Man With Autism

Police discovered Thursday that a man with autism in his 30s was being kept in “dungeon-like conditions” in a Sweetwater trailer home, authorities said. Police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia described the room.
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Police discovered Thursday that a 30-year-old man with autism was being kept in “dungeon-like conditions” in a Sweetwater trailer home, authorities said.

Gladys Jaramillo told police that on numerous occasions she has locked her son in his room with iron bars and a dead bolt so she could go out with her boyfriend and enjoy herself, her arrest affidavit said.

The 56-year-old mother faces charges of aggravated abuse and neglect on a mentally disabled adult and false imprisonment, police said. She was being held on $15,000 bond early Friday. It wasn't immediately known whether she has an attorney.

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Her son has been taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Sweetwater Police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia said.

Police responded to an anonymous call about the situation at 11250 NW 3rd St. at 5 p.m. The caller said that the mother kept her son in a small gated room while she left for hours at a time, according to police.

No one was home when police arrived, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue provided entry to the trailer.

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Inside police said they found that the man had “a small room with a blacked-out window and a rusted iron door with a lock accessible only by the outside.”

Hammontree-Garcia described the room as "dungeon-like. As soon as you walked in the door, the smell of urine and feces slapped you in the face," she said.

Police said the floor is coated with human waste. The bare room has no lighting or bathroom. Inside there is only a mattress.

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While police were at the home, the mother and her son returned home, police said.

Jaramillo told police that she would give her son medication to sedate him so he'd sleep the whole time she was away from home. He was left without food, water, access to a bathroom or a phone, police said in the affidavit.

He is expected to be placed with the Department of Children and Families, Hammontree-Garcia said.

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