The man's wife told police her husband carried his mother away in a wheelbarrow on May 2. When she failed to return three days later, police were informed and the man was placed in detention in Shaanxi province’s Jingbian county.
Rescuers said despite the woman's ordeal, she was faintly calling for help as she was freed, according to a police statement. The man was identified as a 58-year-old with the surname Ma. His 79-year-old mother is surnamed Wang.
She is partially paralyzed and her son was apparently fed up with having to constantly take care of her, the China Daily newspaper reported on Friday. Local police could not immediately be reached for additional comment, and an official reached by phone at the Jingbian county prosecutor’s office confirmed an investigation was underway but declined to give further details. The man would only give his surname, Yan.
Public assistance in much of China is lacking, especially in poor rural areas, and families are generally expected to look after their own elderly relatives.