Police: Man held sister captive in room like "dungeon" for years - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police: Man held sister captive in room like "dungeon" for years

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NBC Connecticut - Our NBC News partners at NBC Connecticut are reporting that police arrested a 58-year-old man accused of keeping his 56-year-old sister locked in a Connecticut bedroom for several years in "dungeon"-like conditions.

The woman was locked up so her brother could avoid losing the Seymour house to the state, local police said.  

Arthur Gauvin was arrested at the home on 10 Eleanor Road Thursday night after police received an anonymous call from someone who was concerned about the woman’s welfare.

When police responded family members let them in. As they spoke to Gauvin, they noticed a foul odor and discovered a woman in a bedroom in deplorable conditions.

The woman was extremely thin, disheveled and covered in urine and human feces, police said. She had not bathed in a long period of time and it appeared she had been malnourished. 

There was a portable toilet inside of the room, which was in an unsanitary condition, police said. 

The one window in the room was boarded up to prevent the victim from escaping. It was also blacked out with black paint to prevent her from seeing outside, police said. There was also a clasp locking the door so she could not get out.

Police said the smell in the house was so horrendous that officers had to leave within minutes of being inside. 

A detective with a special Hazmat suit and a SCUBA device was called in to help patrol officers process the scene.

An ambulance took the victim to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be evaluated. She seemed to be "brainwashed," according to officials and not happy to be freed.

Children were also living in the house, so the Department of Children and Families was called and will conduct a follow-up investigation.

Police said Gauvin apparently kept his sister locked in the house so he would not lose it to the State of Connecticut. The woman had signed the house over to Gauvin around seven years ago, police said. He was responsible for taking care of her for nine years before she could receive any services from the state, they added.       

Police are continuing to investigate and help get the victim proper care and medical services. 

Officers had checked on the victim's welfare in 2010 and found nothing wrong, them again in July 2012.
Gauvin was charged with first-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty to persons. He was released after posting a $20,000 bond, but allegedly made a threatening comment to a family member in front of police that they said would impede and hinder the ongoing investigation.

He was then arrested for a second time and charged with tampering with a witness. Gauven was then held on a $25,000 bond, which he could not post and was arraigned Friday morning at the Derby Superior Court. 

On Friday, bond was increased to $145,000, He is due in court on May. 13.                  

Gauvin is being represented by a public defender.
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