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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Natascha Kampusch Escapes Dungeon


Natascha Kampusch, was ten years old, when she vanished in Vienna Austria while walking to school on March 2, 1998. A young woman witnessed her being pulled into a white van. Her disappearance triggered a massive search. Police report they spoke with many white van owners after Natasha disappeared, including Wolfgang Priklopil, yet he had a good alibi for the time of the kidnapping. There have been few clues since her disappearance. Until this week, police found her wandering in a neighborhood yard.

Natasha lived-in a tiny dungeon like room under the house, equipped only with a sink, toilet, and bed. A small metal door locked from the outside. The opening so small she had to crawl through the opening to enter or exit the room. She had a television to watch videos on, books to read, and paper to write and plenty of clothes to wear, just no place to go. She showed police the house she escaped from and her kidnapper was identified as Wolfgang Priklopil.

Within hours of her escape, Wolfgang Priklopil a 44-year-old communications technician committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. Neighbors report he was quiet and polite. As a loner, he did not have many visitors, yet was often seen with his mother. A few neighbors reported hearing a younger voice at times from his house, naturally assuming it was Wolfgang's girlfriend.

Professionals believe Natasha may have identified with what is called Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a mental condition where a victim, who has been held for a longer length of time, or who have known their abductor prior to being kidnapped, may identify closely with their abductors, preventing them from trying to escape. For now, Natasha is home with family and undergoing medical examinations and counseling to help her readjust to living in society. Although Natasha was held for eight years in a tiny windowless room with only a sink, toilet, and bed, she appears in remarkably good condition mentally and physically. May angels surround her and bring her peace and healing in the days ahead.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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