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Teenager allegedly held as slave in Bosnia for years


An undated picture shows the house where a girl is alleged to have spent years in slavery in the Bosnian village of Karavlasi.

KARAVLASI, Bosnia - A 19-year-old German woman was recovering in a safe house in Bosnia Tuesday after allegedly being enslaved and abused by her stepfather and his partner for nearly eight years.

The teenager was allegedly treated like a slave, often beaten, forced to sleep and eat with pigs, and even had to pull her captors around in a horse cart, according to reports by neighbors in Karavlasi, a small Bosnian farming village.

Milenko Marinkovic, 52, who was once married to the teen's mother, and his wife Slavojka, 45, have been detained on suspicion of treating the young woman in an inhumane way, "forbidding her any contacts with people, forbidding her to attend school," a spokesman for the prosecution in Tuzla Damir Arnautovic told Reuters.

The teen's stepfather also allegedly set dogs on her repeatedly. Neighbors reported seeing the girl sadistically forced to pull a horse cart for distances between 1,300 to 1,600 feet while being whipped for the apparent amusement of her tormentors. 

The young woman was disoriented and bore visible injuries after authorities found her on May 17, after a tip-off from a neighbor, officials said. The neighbor told police that the teen was covered in bruises and scars.

Bosnian prosecutors said the young woman was believed to have been brought to northern Bosnia by her German mother. The mother still lives in the hamlet and told reporters who approached her to go away, NBC News reported.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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