The Fritzl case emerged in late April 2008 when a 42-year-old Austrian woman, Elisabeth Fritzl, stated to police that she had been sexually abused, raped, and physically assaulted by her father, Josef Fritzl, since 1977 and had been imprisoned by him for 24 years, since 1984. Her father had held her captive in a small, soundproofed and windowless cellar in the underground basement of the family home in the town of Amstetten in Lower Austria, claiming she had run away and joined a cult. During her captivity, she had given birth to a total of seven children, all of whom had been fathered by Josef. Three of them had been imprisoned along with their mother for the whole of their lives: daughter Kerstin, aged 19; and sons Stefan, 18; and Felix, 5. Of the other children, three had been raised by Josef and his wife Rosemarie in the upstairs home. He engineered the appearance of these children as foundlings discovered outside their house, giving the impression that their mother, Elisabeth, had abandoned them: Lisa at nine months in 1993, Monika at ten months in 1994, and Alexander at fifteen months in 1997. Alexander's twin, Michael, died three days after birth. When the eldest daughter, Kerstin, became seriously ill in spring 2008, her father allowed her to be taken to a hospital, which triggered a series of events that eventually led to discovery. The case has not yet gone to trial.