DNA tests have confirmed that a 73-year-old Austrian who confessed to locking his daughter in an underground cell for 24 years fathered her seven children, police said today.

Josef Fritzl has admitted abducting his daughter, Elisabeth, in 1984. He kept her in a secret cellar under his house in the town of Amstetten, beating and sexually abusing her.

An examining magistrate today remanded Fritzl in custody for 14 days.

Franz Polzer, the head of the criminal investigation unit in Lower Austria, told a news conference: “The result … shows that the six children which the unfortunate Elisabeth Fritzl gave birth to in the basement have all been undoubtedly fathered by her own father.”

Elisabeth had seven children but one of them died shortly after birth. Police said yesterday Fritzl had admitted burning that child’s body. Prosecutors said today they were looking into the possibility of charging Fritzl with “murder through failure to act” in connection with the baby’s death.

Polzer said Fritzl had “left nothing undone in order to deceive”. “In 24 years we have never seen anything like it,” he said.

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Doesn’t Fritzl bear an uncanny resemblance to The Grinch

Josef F