A Colombian woman kept her two daughters chained up in her basement for years where they were so hungry that they tried to eat bricks.
An anonymous call alerted the authorities that the women were being held captive at a house in the town of Pacora in the north-western department of Caldas.
When police arrived, they found the door locked and the victims’ mother away on holiday. The only person left to care for the two women was their 90-year-old grandfather, who was instructed not to open the door to anyone.
Captive: A Colombian woman kept her two daughters chained up in her basement for years where they were so hungry that they tried to eat bricks. The two daughters are pictured after their rescue
Officers found two bedraggled women, aged 32 and 34, who suffer from mental and cognitive disabilities and do not know how to talk.
The authorities were first notified by an anonymous caller, who reported the constant moans and wails coming from the basement.
Images show the moment the women are freed by social workers from the room they were locked inside with chains and a padlock.
Jazmin Gomez Agudelo, representative of Caldas Department authorities, said: ‘The house was uninhabitable, almost fallen apart.
Rescue: When police arrived (pictured), they found the door locked and the victims’ mother away on holiday
‘They were living in a room where they also carried out their physiological needs like animals.
‘The most shocking vision was when we first walked in and saw one woman with a brick in her mouth.
‘These women often ate bricks and pieces of wood, as well as their own excrement.’
The two women were also kept tied up and plates were found next to their bed, from when a neighbour would sometimes bring them food.
The victims were taken to hospital for treatment and evaluation, where doctors and prosecutors will consider if the mother, yet to return from holiday, jeopardised the lives of her two daughters. If so she could be prosecuted for attempted murder.