Rubbish piled up inside the property. SUR
Authorities rescue neglected child from 'sea of rubbish' in his Estepona home

Authorities rescue neglected child from 'sea of rubbish' in his Estepona home

Crime ·

National Police arrested the father of the 14-year-old boy, who had to sleep on the top of some furniture because it was the only clear space in the property

Juan Cano


Wednesday, 31 May 2023


National Police officers accustomed to working with children, many of them in extreme situations, have said a recent case in Estepona was one of the most serious they have seen in years. A 14-year-old boy was living with his father and grandmother in a "sea of rubbish". The bags of piled up rubbish were more than a metre high in some rooms. The boy – who went to school ungroomed – told investigators that his father used bring home bags of rubbish found in the street.

There were also more than 20 dogs in the property, some of them with diseases and serious infections, which, according to the investigators, were not usually taken out, so their faeces accumulated everywhere.

The property had also been without water and electricity for a long period of time.

The officers estimate that the teenager may have been living in extremely precarious and deplorable unsanitary conditions for at least five years. However, the case remained undetected until a neighbour raised the alarm. The authorities will also investigate how that was possible.

Sources consulted said that the social services had tried to contact the family and had visited the house, but apparently no one would open the door. They also indicated that they had given the father a deadline to sort out the situation.

The boy has been admitted to a child protection centre. The investigation led to the arrest of the father for an alleged offence against his parental duties as well as for an offence of animal neglect. The grandmother was not arrested, although she is listed in the court proceedings as a person under investigation. Apparently, the boy's mother did not live with them and does not even live in Estepona.

After the police intervention, council staff removed a huge amount of rubbish from the house and the dogs were taken into care.

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