Annabel Schild, 15, daughter of British electronics engineer Rolf schild, was released unhamed by her Sardinian kidnappers Saturday. Her mother, Daphne Schild, had been released secretly in January after the bandits received L350, 000 (about $780,000) ransom. The family had been kidnapped last Aug. 21.
The release came after a family-approved appeal from Pope john Paul II March 16 broke what had been a carefully constructed net of silence. Mrs. Schild then appealed to the kidnappers in a radio broadcast March 18. Sardinian police are holding eight suspects captured after a shoot-out in December, and it is thought that the final arrangements involved assurances by police of leniency if Annabel were released safely.
Much blame has been heaped on the British press for inflating the bandits' expectations of the amount of ransom Mr. Schild could pay, reports Monitor correspondent Rushworth M. Kidder. During the news blackout in recent months, however, quiet negotiations aided by the Sardinian carabinieri; the Archbishop of Westminster, Basil Cardinal Hume; and representatives of the Sunday times (London) appear to have made the release possible.