A 24-year-old woman in China's Hubei province spent five years being locked up in a deserted house by her parents after she suffered a 'mental breakdown'.
According to Shanghaiist, the abandoned building is located in the Jingang village of Xiaogan city.
Zhang Qi had gotten pregnant out of wedlock in 2009 when she was 18 years old and her parents forced her to abort the child, reported Nandu Daily.
The emotionally distressed Zhang then suffered a 'nervous breakdown'.
Her parents worried that their daughter's state of mind would affect her teenage brother, who was described as 'the apple of their eye'.
Hence, they kept her in an abandoned home in the village and locked all of the doors and windows, leaving only a small hole through which she could interact with the outside world.
Zhang's father runs a clinic while her mother sells fruits. Her mother later told reporters that 'she kept running away and hurting people.'
"We took her to an asylum, but it didn't work," she said.
Inside the garbage-strewn shack, Zhang was unable to bathe and saw no sunlight. She could communicate clearly, but after remaining stationary for so long, she began losing her ability to move and function normally.
Her grandfather would bring her meals and her classmates often returned to the village from the cities they worked in to deliver snacks and drinks.
Zhang's classmates said that they had reported the case to police every year, but the cops had refused to investigate, telling them that it was a family affair.
The woman's tragic story began to get out and receive online attention. On Feb 25, members of the media and volunteers gathered in the town and demanded that Zhang's parents let her out.
Under great public pressure, they finally did, and Zhang was quickly sent to the hospital for treatment.
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