Police in the city of Huelva, southwestern Spain, have charged a mother with neglect and child abuse after she left her seven-year-old son locked in a room while she went to work.
Neighbours called the police on Thursday afternoon to report a child "crying inconsolably and shouting for help" on a balcony.
Police discovered the child in a room "locked with chains and padlocks", officers confirmed to Europa Press.
According to sources from the local fire brigade, the child was "dirty and hungry" and the room was in an "appalling condition of hygiene and sanitation".
He was taken to a local medical centre, where social workers gave him a bath, clean clothes and something to eat. Police officers learnt that he was left on a regular basis from 6.30am until 4.30pm while his mother was at work.
Police waited in the flat until the mother came home and arrested her on charges of child abuse and neglect.
The little boy is currently in the care of local child services, while court proceedings against his mother are ongoing.