London: A man in Brazil locked up his wife in a cellar for 16 long years as he lived upstairs with another woman, it was reported here.
Joao Batista Groppo has been arrested on suspicion of keeping his wife locked in the squalid cellar for 16 years, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
Sixtyfour-year-old Sebastiana Aparecida Groppo was found by the police in the cellar of the house in the city of Sorocaba in Sao Paulo state on Wednesday.
The woman was living in pitiable conditions as the floor of the cellar was littered with faeces and dead cockroaches.
"She was found without clothes, wrapped up in a blanket," police official Ana Luiza Salomone was quoted as saying.
He said the windows had been shuttered and were covered in mould.
Joao Batista told police that he had locked up his wife of 42 years as she was mentally ill and aggressive.
The police said that Joao apparently kept his wife locked up for two periods totalling 16 years, the second period began after 2003 when their son died in an accident.
An official said that Sebastiana showed signs of mental problems that could have been caused by her captivity.