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Austrian Kidnap Victim Seeks Ownership of Abductor's House


An Austrian teenage girl who was kept in a cellar for eight years by a kidnapper is now seeking to claim the house of the man who imprisoned her.

A lawyer for Natascha Kampusch says she plans to claim the property of Wolfgang Priklopil, who committed suicide last week, hours after the 18-year-old escaped.

Priklopil owned the house in the town of Strasshof, northeast of Vienna, where he kept Kampusch in a secret, windowless room for eight years.

A next-door neighbor of the kidnapper, Josef Jantschek, said Tuesday he saw the girl several times riding in Priklopil's car and walking in his garden in recent months. The neighbor says Priklopil told him the girl was a "Yugoslav houseworker" whom he borrowed from a friend.

The neighbor's account raised questions about whether Kampusch could have escaped earlier, or was too afraid of her kidnapper to do so.

Austrian police searched the house again Tuesday for other hidden rooms, and are investigating whether Priklopil had an accomplice.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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