Austrian Man Locked Up Daughter In Basement For 24 years, Fathered Her Seven Children

Police had said on Sunday a 42-year-old woman told them her father, Josef Fritzl, lured her into the basement of the block where they lived in the town of Amstetten in 1984, and drugged and handcuffed her before imprisoning her. Further police report on Monday said that her 73-year-old Austrian father has confessed to imprisoning her in a windowless cellar for 24 years and fathering her seven children.

Josef Fritzl

According to Austrian broadcaster ORF, police suspected an extreme case of incest because the woman told them she has been abused by her father during her ordeal and had borne him seven children. Three of them stayed with her in the basement dungeon while one child died shortly after birth. Her father removed the corpse from the cellar and burned it, she said.

The 42-year-old woman, Elisabeth Fritzl said she had been abused by her father since she was 11.

Police said Josef Fritzl’s wife Rosemarie was at the time unaware of what was going on while the man provided his daughter and the children with food and clothing.

Elizabeth’s mum thought she was missing as she had received a letter a month after her disappearance asking her parents not to search for her, a letter apparently written by Josef himself to cover up his act.

Police became aware of the case when a 19-year-old unconscious girl was hospitalised in the town of Amstetten, some 150 kilometres west of Vienna, who apparently suffered from a mysterious disease. When the doctors’ efforts to contact her mother proved abortive, they had to alarm the police.

Officers managed to spot the girl’s address, raided the house and found the girl’s mother together with the three other children.

Police colonel, Franz Polzer was quoted as saying by ORF Radio on Sunday, “At the moment the investigations are continuing.

“We have taken DNA samples of all involved persons and are waiting for the results,” Polzer said.

According to Lower Austria criminal police, detailed result of the kinship between the involved persons are expected on Monday(Today)

Police officials, meanwhile, confirmed the suspicion of incest against the 73-year-old who has been detained. He refuses to make any statement. Police as yet did not examine the dungeon because it is feared that the engineer has placed explosive traps there.

Neighbours of the family told reporters that they “cannot imagine” what had happened. They described Fritzl as always “polite and friendly” when they met him occasionally on the street.

Further actions will be taken on the case once the court gets the result on kinship. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been taken to therapy to help her through the psychological trauma she has suffered since she was 11.


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