VIENNA, Austria Three months after gaining their freedom, Josef Fritzl's victims are slowly being exposed to a brave new world of sunlight, storm clouds, prosecutors and paparazzi.
Investigators said they have begun questioning the daughter they say Fritzl held in a cellar for 24 years, and Austrian media reported that one of the children he fathered with her spent last weekend at a youth camp.
"A big step toward a normal life," the daily Kurier headlined.
Judge Andrea Humer, who will preside over Fritzl's incest-imprisonment trial, said medical experts have pronounced the victims in "relatively good health" considering their ordeal in the windowless cell police say he built beneath his home.
Prosecutors for the first time interviewed Fritzl's 42-year-old daughter, Elisabeth, in a secret location. Friday's session was videotaped so it can be shown in court to spare her the trauma of having to testify, they said, adding that the questioning would resume next week.
In a poignant sign of the remarkable progress the family has made since Fritzl finally released his captives late in April, one of Elisabeth's daughters a 15-year-old girl attended a summer camp organized by firefighters last weekend, public broadcaster ORF said. It said the girl enjoyed four carefree days of outdoor fun under an assumed name with 4,000 other young campers.
Armin Blutsch, who commands Amstetten's fire brigade, and Hans-Heinz Lenze, a local official, said camp organizers took it upon themselves to include her after she said it was her "ardent desire."
Other family members also have ventured always in disguise from the Amstetten-Mauer psychiatric clinic where they have been recovering to make day trips, including swimming outings, Kurier said.
The clinic remains under police guard to shut out the paparazzi who have laid siege to the building in an effort to photograph Elisabeth and her children.
"Fortunately, everything is going very well," said Christoph Herbst, a lawyer representing the victims. He said they were spending some time each day trying to answer the hundreds of letters sent by well-wishers from around the world.
Fritzl, 73, is expected to go on trial before the end of the year. He is being held in pretrial detention in St. Poelten, 50 miles west of Vienna, pending the filing of formal charges.
Investigators say Fritzl confessed to taking Elisabeth prisoner shortly after she turned 18, sexually abusing her and fathering seven children with her, including one whose body he allegedly tossed into a furnace after it died in infancy. They say subsequent DNA tests confirmed he is the surviving children's biological father.
Prosecutor Gerhard Sedlacek has said Fritzl could be charged with murder along with kidnapping and rape, if investigators determine he was responsible for the infant's death. Although officials declined to say what questions they asked Elisabeth, Sedlacek said police sought her account of how the child died.
Police say Fritzl released his captives in late April after one of the children held underground became ill and was hospitalized.
They say Fritzl brought three of the youngsters upstairs and raised them in the open with his wife, claiming Elisabeth had run away to join a cult and had later left the three on the family's doorstep in Amstetten, a town west of Vienna.
The other three children were confined in the cellar with Elisabeth and never saw sunlight until they gained their freedom 12 weeks ago.
Their progress since then is "encouraging," clinic director Berthold Kepplinger said. He said that includes the 19-year-old girl whose illness apparently prompted Fritzl to free all of his captives.
The Fritzl affair stunned people worldwide, in part because it came less than two years after a similar case involving Natascha Kampusch, who was kidnapped at age 10 while walking to school and held in a windowless cell in suburban Vienna for 8 1/2 years.
Kampusch, now 20, escaped in August 2006 while her captor was distracted with a phone call.
Two abduction-imprisonment cases in rapid succession have given some the impression that Austria is rife with deviants who prey on young women.
But authorities say crime statistics don't bear that out, and Interpol has no plans to take a closer look at missing person cases in Austria or elsewhere in Europe, spokeswoman Rachael Billington told The Associated Press.
"These are really unique cases ... you can't find a pattern in individual cases," she said.