Kampusch kidnapper acted alone, says State
VIENNA: A notorious Austrian kidnapper who held a young woman captive for eight-and-a-half years acted alone, officials said yesterday.
Natascha Kampusch was snatched on her way to school in 1998 and imprisoned in a cramped cell until she fled in August 2006, aged 18. Her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil, committed suicide hours after her escape.
Theories had circulated suggesting Priklopil had accomplices. But during a presentation of the latest – and final – findings in the case, prosecutors and other officials said they found no evidence Priklopil had help carrying out his crime.
“The so-called ‘multiple offender’ theory… can be excluded,” Werner Pleischl, senior Vienna public prosecutor, told reporters.
Prosecutor Thomas Muehlbacher said a former friend of the kidnapper said Priklopil had admitted the abduction to him shortly before his suicide. The man, identified only as Ernst H, said Priklopil told him he carried out the kidnapping because he felt he would never be able to find a wife.
There were no indications that Priklopil knew Kampusch or any- one in her surroundings, Muehlbacher added.
Geiger acknowledged that investigators made mistakes in their initial probe.
Among other things, police did not follow up on a 1998 tip that pointed to Priklopil. “Did police make mistakes in the investigation?” Geiger said. “I answer that with a clear yes.” – Sapa-AP
FLED: Natascha Kampusch