Kam­pusch kid­nap­per acted alone, says State

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

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

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