Mother kept girls locked away from the world for seven years
Three girls who were imprisoned by their mother in a house of indescribable filth for seven years may never recover from the ordeal, experts have said.
The girls were shut away from the outside world, existing in almost complete darkness, playing only with mice and communicating in their own language.
When they were discovered, their Главная in a smart, upper middle-class suburb had no running water and was filled with waste and excrement a metre high. The floor was corroded by mice urine.
The case has stunned Austria, still reeling from the Natascha Kampusch kidnapping, and the authorities were struggling last night to explain how such a horror story could have gone unnoticed.
The girls’ ordeal was apparently sparked by their parents’ divorce, after which their mother, a 53-year-old lawyer, suffered a breakdown. But she won custody of the girls — then aged 7, 11 and 13 — and withdrew them from school, claiming that she would give them private tuition at home.
Her husband, a local judge in Linz, Upper Austria, named only as Andreas M, was not allowed to see them once, despite his claims for access reaching court nine times.
The girls, Viktoria, Katharina and Elisabeth, were rescued only when police broke into the house after a neighbour, who had reported his suspicions several times, threatened a local council official with a lawsuit.