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Enslaved 8 years, girl didn't realize she was sexually abused
Natascha Kampusch reportedly wept when she learned her 'master' had committed suicide
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Published 2006-08-26 09:10 (KST)   
Natascha Kampusch at around the time of her abduction.
The Austrian girl who recently escaped an 8-year sexual enslavement when her captor left her to speak on the phone, after ordering her to vacuum his red BMW sports car, wept openly when she learned that he had committed suicide to avoid capture, according to reports published Saturday in the Austrian paper Kurier.

Natascha Kampusch was just ten years old when she was kidnapped in 1998. She was kept a prisoner for eight years in a dungeon-like room below the garage of Wolfgang Priklopil, 44, an information specialist who lived in the small commuter town of Strasshof, about 15 miles northeast of Vienna. The kidnapping sparked a massive investigation of white van owners in the area, during which Proklopil was questioned but dropped as a suspect for reasons that have not been completely clarified.


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Only in the last year was Natascha allowed on limited outings with Proklopil, accompanying him occasionally in his car. It was this gradual easing of her imprisonment that finally allowed her to escape when the opportunity arose.

Although physically healthy, though extremely pale and thin--reportedly weighing less than she did at the time of her kidnapping at just over 90 pounds--she apparently suffers from the condition known as Stockholm Syndrome under which hostages come to identify with their captors.

When questioned by police, Natascha indicated that she'd had sexual relations with Priklopil but said that these relations were "voluntary." She did not seem to understand that she had been sexually abused, according to reports.

Priklopil forced Natascha to call him "master" (Gebieter), a term for someone who issues commands (Gebote). A lengthy diary that Natascha reportedly kept during her captivity is being examined to confirm her account and to learn more details about the crime.

Neighbors have said that Priklopil began construction of what they now know to be his dungeon long before the kidnapping occurred, indicated that he had planned out the kidnapping and enslavement months--perhaps years--before he executed it.

Priklopil committed suicide by leaping before a train after a high-speed car chase in which he managed to elude the police.

The investigation is now focused on Priklopil's possible accomplices. A young witness spotted two men kidnap Natascha at the time of her abduction. Priklopil's computer is also being investigated for clues about the possible involvement of others.

©2006 OhmyNews

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