Girl ‘barely able to climb stairs’ after being rescued for nearly 7 years is said to have been held captive by her family

A house in the western German town of Attendorn, where a girl was rescued after being allegedly held by her mother and grandparents for most of her life, is seen on November 7 2022.


Berlin – Prosecutors in Germany are holding a mother and grandparents accused of holding the woman’s eight-year-old daughter captive in a home in a small German town for most of her life.

There are still many unanswered questions in the case, but the details that have emerged are shocking: the girl was believed to have been held in a house in Attendorn, around 20 miles east of Cologne, for almost seven years. After being rescued by police, the girl said she had never seen a forest or meadow or gotten into a car, according to local newspaper Sauerlandkurier, which cited documents from a regional children’s hospital .

Police and the local child protection service searched the house on September 23 and rescued the girl. A medical examination revealed that she was in relatively good health and she was placed in emergency foster care.

The Siegen prosecutor’s office said the child’s mother and grandparents were under official investigation.

The girl showed no clear indications of physical abuse or malnutrition, the prosecutor’s office said.

“However, the girl never saw the outside world,” prosecutor Patrick Baron von Grotthuss told German news agency DPA. He said the girl is said to have lived in the Attendorn house for nearly seven years, never being allowed to leave. She was able to talk and walk but was “hardly able to climb stairs on her own or overcome rough terrain”.

The senior prosecutor of the German city of Siegen, Patrick Baron von Grotthuss, speaks with a journalist at his office on November 7, 2022.


The mother and grandparents did not provide any information to investigators, officials said.

In 2014, the mother reportedly told the girl’s father, whom she had separated from before her daughter was born, that she wanted to move to Italy with their child. But doubts began to mount that she had implemented this plan, despite providing a forwarding address in Italy.

In September 2015, the father told child protective services that he had seen the mother walking around town several times. When questioned by authorities, the grandparents said their daughter had moved to Italy with the child.

The father said the letters and gifts he sent his daughter to the Italian address were all returned unopened.

Child Protective Services have also received anonymous reports that the mother, at least, may be in Attendorn. Recent attempts by authorities to contact the grandparents have been rebuffed and officials have been denied access to the home. The police were also not allowed to enter the house by the grandparents, but due to an apparent lack of evidence, no search warrant was issued.

A house in the western German town of Attendorn, where a girl was rescued after being allegedly held by her mother and grandparents for most of her life, is seen on November 7 2022.


Finally, a relative on the mother’s side of the family contacted the police and said that he and his wife had recently visited relatives in Italy with whom the girl and her mother were supposed to be living. The Italian parents said that neither mother nor daughter had ever lived there.

Then the girl’s mother was reached by phone at the grandparents’ home in Attendorn, and authorities eventually got the search warrant they needed.

The mother and grandparents are charged with unlawful deprivation of liberty and abuse.

Family acquaintances are also interviewed.

The next step, according to von Grotthuss, is to thoroughly assess the mental and physical condition of the little girl, and he said it was “highly likely” that the mother would also be psychiatrically examined and, if necessary, the others. accused.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button