Autistic man found in 'dungeon-like' conditions in Sweetwater

Police say man's mother would leave him in small gated room for extended periods of time

SWEETWATER, Fla. - Police responded to a call Thursday in Sweetwater about a 30-year-old autistic man who officials said was being kept in "dungeon-like" conditions.

An anonymous caller told police that the man's mother, identified by police as 56-year-old Gladys Jaramillo, would leave for extended periods of time, leaving him in a small gated room.

According to a police affidavit, the man was being "unwillingly caged in a room with iron bars on the door, with no source of food, water or bathroom."

When police arrived at the trailer home, they called Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to gain entry.

Upon entering the home, police found the man's room to be small with a blacked out window and a rusty iron door that was lock accessible only from the outside.

Officials said the room has no lighting, only had a mattress and smelled strongly of feces and urine.

Department of Children and Families was called to the home.

Some neighbors in the mobile home community said the man appeared to be in good condition when he was seen outside his home.

"I see her take good care of him," said Neighbor Mario Rostran.

Others, however, disagreed. One woman said she frequently saw the man disheveled and wearing diapers.

Neighbor Rafael Cruz said Jaramillo would leave her son alone while she left to gamble.

"She don't take care of him," Cruz said. "She'd go play Bingo and she'd leave the son alone."

Police said Jaramillo was arrested and faces charges including aggravated abuse and neglect on a mentally disabled person, and false imprisonment.

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