Kidnapped at the age of ten by a telecommunications worker named Wolfgang Priklopil, she remained in captivity for more than eight years before escaping in the late summer of 2006. Four years later, she recounted the details of her harrowing experience in the memoir 3,096 Days.
She was abducted in Vienna on March 2, 1998 while on her way to school. Her kidnapper's van was one of the vehicles examined by police early in the investigation; however, Priklopil was ruled out as a suspect when detectives believed his story that he was using the automobile to transport construction materials.
Following her ordeal, she briefly hosted a talk show called Natascha Kampusch Trifft. Also, out of empathy for fellow captive beings, she became the Austrian spokesperson for the PETA animal rights organization.
She spent the first ten years of her life in Vienna, Austria, in the care of her father, Ludwig Koch, and her mother, Brigitta Kampusch Sirny.
She and American kidnap victim Steven Stayner were both held captive for nearly a decade.