SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - Thirty-six-year-old Armando Bezerra was found in appalling conditions inside a closed room in a home in Sao Paulo state by police.
He was discovered by accident during an operation to crack down on drug traffickers, and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Local media reported he had been held captive by family members for nearly two decades.
His father, Amancio Bezerra, denies any responsibility.
"I never heard from him," said Amancio Bezerra.
Police chief Celso Marchiori also has his doubts.
"That place is very unsanitary, and no person would survive there for very long," said Marchiori.
The authorities are still piecing together details about Bezerra's alleged captivity, sorting through evidence to determine if his family was in fact involved and whether criminal charges are warranted.