Over a period of 24 years, Fritzl repeatedly raped his daughter. Furthermore, Elisabeth delivered seven children, three of whom lived in the basement with her, while another died in infancy. The other three kids lived in the upstairs world of the house as the foster children of Fritzl and his wife.
Then in April 2008 one of the children became seriously ill. Kerstin was Elisabeth’s firstborn, and the 19-year-old was now in need of medical care. Somehow, Elisabeth persuaded her father to take the teen to the Landesklinikum Amstetten-Mauer hospital. But Fritzl couldn’t transport Kerstin on his own, and so Elisabeth, now 42, was enlisted to lend a hand. It was the first time her eyes had enjoyed natural light in 24 years.
After her brief moment in the sunlight, however, Elisabeth was returned to the dark of her prison. But the end of her ordeal was now in sight. Staff at the hospital were suspicious of their new patient. So suspicious, in fact, that they alerted the police, who had their own questions about Kerstin. Fritzl, meanwhile, simply told them that he had discovered the young woman at his house. Yet the police needed more answers, and so they appealed for Elisabeth to come forward.