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Cold case experts start review of Natascha Kampusch kidnap case

Investigators are searching for errors and missed opportunities in the probe into Kampusch’s abduction in 1998 when she was 10.

Natascha Kampusch
Natascha Kampusch
Image: AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS IN Austria today began pouring over the notorious kidnapping of Natascha Kampusch, the Viennese girl who was snatched in 1998 when she was 10 and only escaped in 2006.

The investigators, including a US FBI expert, are searching for errors and missed opportunities in the probe into Kampusch’s abduction, interior ministry spokeswoman Johanna Mikl-Leitner told Austrian news agency APA.

The team will have access to the entire investigative file and the task is expected to last until the end of the year.

Kampusch’s abduction provoked national anguish and one of the most intensive police investigations in Austrian history.

But a parliamentary inquiry denounced serious errors made by investigators and recommended a re-examination of the case.

A recurrent claim has been that Kampusch’s kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil had an accomplice, based largely on a young girl’s testimony at the time.

Kampusch was kidnapped on her way to school on 2 March 1998 and held for eight and a half years before escaping on 23 August 2006.

Priklopil killed himself the same day by throwing himself under a train.

Today aged 24, Kampusch published an autobiography in 2010 criticising police for their handling of the case.

Officers interviewed Priklopil days after she disappeared, even inspecting the van he had used to kidnap her and his home in Strasshof, on the outskirts of Vienna, but later abandoned the lead.

- © AFP, 2012

Questions over ‘lone perpetrator’ theory of Austrian girl’s kidnapping >

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