Pale, in shock but still alive; an Austrian teenager’s eight-year kidnap ordeal is at last over. In 1998, 10-year old Natasha Kampusch vanished while walking to school. On Wednesday an 18-year old Natasha managed to escape the cellar where she had been held captive. There is no evidence she suffered physical abuse, and there are signs she was given some schooling. She may also have developed Stockholm Syndrome, where a captive forms an emotional link with the captor, even feeling a sense of loyalty.
It marks the end of a missing child case that shook the country. Police in Vienna say a man thought to be the kidnapper was found under the wheels of a train later in the day. Natasha’s father was asked how he was taking the news. “How should I be doing? I can’t quite believe it. I really hope this is true. I really do hope so. I’m praying to God that this is actually happening.”
After eight years a family is reunited. Eight years during which Natasha’s family say they never gave up hope of finding their daughter.