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DNA tests confirm Austrian kidnap girl's identity

Written by: Staff

VIENNA, Aug 25 (Reuters) DNA analysis has confirmed that a young Austrian woman who escaped her kidnapper this week is Natascha Kampusch, who vanished in 1998 at the age of 10, police said today.

The end of Kampusch's eight-year ordeal has transfixed the nation and left police scrambling to fill in the blanks as details of one of Austria's most notorious and puzzling crimes emerged.

''The profile of the girl who vanished eight years ago is a match,'' said Gerhard Lang, a senior Vienna police official, announcing the result of the DNA test. ''The probability is one in 23 billion that it is not.'' ''For us, that is proof,'' he told a packed news conference.

Kampusch was held for most of the eight years in a small, windowless cell hidden beneath the garage of a house in a commuter town outside Vienna. Her alleged kidnapper committed suicide shortly after she escaped on Wednesday.

Police said they were still investigating whether Kampusch's kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, had acted in his own.

''We are investigating in several directions,'' Lang said in an interview with ORF, the state broadcaster. ''We cannot include or exclude anyone in particular.'' REUTERS RL HS1954

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