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1980: Schild family reunited with daughter
Teenager Annabel Schild has been reunited with her mother after being released from seven months of captivity in Sardinia.

The 15-year-old's ordeal ended when her captors dumped her on a deserted road between the small towns of Mamoida and Sarule in central Sardinia.

After my mother was free I felt very lonely and I had no-one to talk to and no-one to speak English to
Annabel Schild
She was met by an Italian lawyer who took her to the Sardinian capital of Cagliari for an emotional reunion this morning with her mother Daphne, who herself was held hostage by the group until her secret release in January.

Miss Schild told a packed news conference she was surprised her release had come now and her darkest days had been when her mother was freed.

"After my mother was free I felt very lonely and I had no-one to talk to and no-one to speak English to," she said.

"I was just very lonely and I got really upset but now I'm really happy - I'm glad I'm home."

Her father Rolf Schild, who was also abducted and then freed, is currently travelling from London to be reunited with his family.

Miss Schild's release was secured by behind-the-scenes negotiations with the bandits by magistrates, clerics, legal experts and military police, or Carabinieri forces.

It comes a week after an appeal by the Pope for the gang to release her.


The nature of the agreement is not yet known but it is thought the Carabinieri may have agreed leniency for some members of the gang who are currently in jail.

Through communications a place was set for a meeting where Miss Schild was discovered.

The family's ordeal began on 21 August last year when they were ambushed by armed gunmen as they returned to their holiday villa near the village of Porto Raphael on the coast of northern Sardinia.

They were held captive blindfolded and gagged and as they did not speak any Italian could not talk to their captors.

Mr Schild, a wealthy businessman, was asked to pay a ransom running into millions of pounds and was released without warning in September.

He paid a ransom of 350,000 in advance of the release of his wife but has not paid anything on top of that for his daughter.

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Annabel Schild (right) with her mother
The Pope appealed for Annabel to be freed

Interview with Annabel Shild and mother Daphne

In Context
Kidnappings had been rife in Sardinia with bandits making a living out of abductions and the subsequent ransoms.

A lot of publicity in Britain and in Sardinia was considered to have kept the case in the public domain but when the Schilds were released they blamed the British media for endangering their lives.

Large sections of the press reported incorrectly Mr Schild was worth millions of pounds.

The abductors refused to believe Mr Schild when he said he simply did not have the vast sums of money they demanded.

Stories From 22 Mar

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