Police in Russia are investigating the case of a 33-year-old woman who escaped captivity last week after having been kept against her will in a private home in Smolino, outside the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, for 14 years, according to Russian state media outlet RIA and independent media outlet Meduza.
Yekaterina C. was kidnapped in 2009 at the age of 19 along with her friend after they met 37-year-old Vladimir C. at a local train station and went back to his house for drinks. According to Meduza, Yekaterina was kept alone in a bedroom with barred windows and a padlocked door. Vladimir would come in periodically to rape her, threatening to kill her if she resisted him.
Vladimir likely killed Yekaterina's friend at some point between 2010-2011, according to media reports.
How was he able to get away with it for 14 years?
The police investigation reportedly began after Vladimir's mother, who lived with him in the home, had her son admitted to a psychiatric hospital for excessive drinking. When he was taken away, he left Yekaterina's room unlocked, which allowed her to escape.
Until that point, according to Meduza, Vladimir seldom left the house and the neighbors assumed his mother lived alone. Thus he was able to keep Yekaterina locked up for over a decade.
When they searched the house, police found human remains likely belonging to Yekaterina's friend, according to RIA.