Psychologists say kidnapped teenager taking 'reserved attitude' toward parents

The young Austrian woman who endured 8Ѕ years in captivity has adopted a "reserved attitude" toward her parents since her dramatic escape from her kidnapper last week, psychologists treating her said Thursday.

Experts who have been meeting with 18-year-old Natascha Kampusch since she bolted to freedom on Aug. 23 told reporters she has been in regular telephone contact only with her mother and has not had any further contact with her father. The three had had a tearful reunion when she escaped, and both parents have begged to be able to see her again.

Monika Pinterits, a lawyer who specializes in representing traumatized young people, said Kampusch might not decide for weeks or months whether to live with one of her parents.

They divorced after her abduction as a 10-year-old schoolgirl in March 1998 a case that until last week was one of Austria's greatest unsolved mysteries.

Kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil, 44, killed himself by jumping in front of a train after Kampusch escaped.

Max Friedrich, a criminal psychiatrist on the team treating Kampusch, said the years she spent as a prisoner often confined to a windowless underground cell amounted to "isolation torture."

Kampusch's mother, Brigitta Sirny, issued a statement Thursday saying she was grateful that so many people sympathized with her daughter's plight but pleading with the media to "leave her alone."

"The whole fuss has really become too much for me and for all of us," Sirny said, adding that she would no longer grant any interviews.

The young woman's father, Ludwig Koch, has filed a court claim for a Ђ35,000 (US$45,000) share of Priklopil's estate to help compensate for her extreme mental suffering and help ensure "the future security of my child," the Kronen Zeitung daily reported for Friday's editions.

As therapists continued caring for Kampusch in the secure, unidentified location where she has been resting since escaping Priklopil, police said they tentatively planned to question her again about her ordeal.

"It all depends on whether Ms. Kampusch can and is willing to talk," said police Maj. Gen. Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau, reports AP.