Tuesday 18 June 2019

Kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch urges Madeleine McCann's family not to give up hope

Natascha Kampusch
Natascha Kampusch
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

A woman who was held hostage for eight years has urged Madeleine McCann's family not to give up hope.

Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped when she was just ten-years-old and was forced to be a sex slave by Wolfgang Přiklopil for eight years until  she managed to escape in 2006.

As Madeleine's parents prepare to mark ten years since their daughter disappeared in Portugal's Praia da Luz in May 2007, Natascha sent a touching message to them.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she said: "Please stay strong and never give up yourself, and I hope that Madeleine appears."

Natascha also spoke about the moment she saw Přiklopil was on the phone and she managed to flee his Austrian home.

She said: "I saw that option and I thought I have to do it now because it’s a chance and maybe it works.

Madeleine McCann has been missing for over ten years Photo:Getty
Madeleine McCann has been missing for over ten years Photo:Getty

"And after then I was so excited about my escape and my freedom and then I was a little bit shocked about the new experiences and about the new opportunities."

Read More: Kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch may have had a second captor - reports

Wolfgang took his own life before police could arrest him and after Natascha was awarded compensation she bought his house and said she still visits occasionally as it gives her "control and power."

She said: "Sometimes it was like that, especially the years at the beginning but then I had hope because I had so many plans for my life.

"I didn’t want to give up these plans and so it was so important to survive and be strong and look forward to some options and possibilities to escape."

Read More: 'A horrible marker of time': Madeleine McCann's mother on life ten years on from disappearance

The McCann's have referred to Natascha's ordeal as they reach a decade without Madeleine.

Writing on the Find Maddie Facebook page, they said: "Ten years- there's no easy way to say it, describe it, accept it. I remember when Madeleine first disappeared I couldn’t even begin to consider anything in terms of years.

Wolfgang Priklopil
Wolfgang Priklopil

"Shawn Hornbeck abducted and kept hidden for over four years, Natascha Kampusch for over eight years. I couldn't go there. And now here we are...Madeleine, our Madeleine- ten years."

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