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Kidnappers free 8-year-old German girl

COLOGNE, West Germany -- The 8-year-old daughter of a West German banker was dumped blindfolded but unharmed in a restaurant parking lot early Sunday after the family paid $750,000 to kidnappers who held her hostage for five months.

'I must phone my Daddy,' Nina von Gallwitz cried to restaurant workers who found her as they were closing up shop shortly after midnight.

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The workers said they spotted the child standing in the parking lot, blindfolded and clutching an alarm clock. She was barely able to walk after being confined to a bed during most of her six months capitivity, they said.

The kidnappers' last instructions to the 8-year-old were: 'Don't undo the blindfold until the alarm clock rings,' the workers said.

Police said the von Gallwitz family had handed over a ransom of more than $750,000 to secure their daughter's release. The kidnappers' identitities were not known and police refused to comment on their investigations.

Snatched Dec. 18 as she was walking to school in a wealthy Cologne suburb, Nina's abduction touched off a furor in the West German press and television.

Her parents, Beatrice and Hubertus von Gallwitz of a prominent Cologne banking family, first insisted on keeping the kidnapping secret but went public after three attempts to pay the kidnappers' ransom failed.

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The family employed two middlemen, a television journalist and the provost of Cologne Cathederal who made televised appeals to the kidnappers to free the girl.

The von Gallwitz abduction was West Germany's 22nd child kidnapping in 20 years.

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