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Austrian Man Admits Incest With Imprisoned Daughter for 24 Years

A 73-year-old retired Austrian electrical engineer is facing a court date after confessing that he kept his daughter prisoner for 24 years and had seven children with her.

In a story that has sickened many Austrians, police say Josef Fritzl drugged his daughter in 1984, when she was 19-years-old, and put her in a tiny basement cell in the town of Amstetten. The windowless dungeon could only be entered through a hidden door with an electric code.

They say Fritzl confessed to raping and abusing his daughter, who gave birth to seven of his children. He adopted three of the babies. Three others lived in the dungeon with their mother. A seventh baby died just after birth. Fritzl said he burned the body in a furnace.

Authorities say they only found out about the family when one of the children was hospitalized last week for an unspecified illness.

Police describe Fritzl's daughter, now 42, as greatly disturbed and under psychiatric care.

Authorities say the three children locked up with their mother had never seen sunlight until they were freed Saturday.

Police say they do not yet know how the babies were born and cared for. They also do not know how Fritzl's wife never knew what was going on under her own house.

Neighbors say they also had no idea what was happening.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.