Woman Stuck in Paris Elevator for Three Days

A trip to the local bakery turned into a nightmare for a 19-year old handicapped woman who spent three days trapped in the elevator of her Paris apartment, judicial officials said Friday.

The woman, identified only as Safiatou, went missing on Dec. 19 when she left her home to buy a loaf of bread. An elevator repairman discovered the mentally handicapped woman, shivering and dehydrated, on Dec. 22.

The prosecutor's office has opened an investigation, judicial officials said.

According to an official close to the investigation, Safiatou's father had contacted the building concierge Dec. 19 to say his daughter could be stuck in a broken elevator. The elevator's emergency alarm was never triggered and the concierge and a repairman didn't hear any sounds coming from the shaft, judicial officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

The technician began repair work on the elevator, which was stuck between floors, the following day. On Dec. 22, the repairman returned to complete the job and heard a soft cry.

He discovered Safiatou, weak, dehydrated and chilled to the bone.

Safiatou's father, who had advised the police of his daughter's disappearance, has filed a complaint for failing to help a person in danger — a crime in France. Investigators must determine whether the elevator's alarm system was working properly and whether the elevator had been properly maintained.

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