The story appears on

Page A2

August 29, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Girl abducted in 1991 freed

A MAN suspected of snatching an 11-year-old girl and hiding her for nearly two decades in his backyard was scheduled to make a court appearance in California yesterday, as the woman's family reunited with their daughter and met the two children fathered by her alleged abductor.

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was taken from a South Lake Tahoe street in 1991, was kept behind a series of fences, sheds and tents, even giving birth to her suspected abductor's children in the suburban backyard compound less than 322 kilometers from her childhood home.

Dugard's stepfather told CBS' "Early Show" yesterday morning that he spoke to his wife late Thursday after she reunited with Dugard and everyone was "doing great."

"I think they're pretty happy," Carl Probyn said, noting six people were at the reunion: Jaycee Dugard, now 29, her two daughters, her sister, mother and another relative. He said the most surprising thing to his wife was that Dugard looks almost like she did when she was taken.

"She looks very young, she looks very healthy," Probyn said. "She told me that Jaycee feels really guilty for bonding with this guy. She has a real guilt trip."

Phillip Garrido, 58, is being held for investigation of kidnapping and sex charges. Authorities said his 54-year-old wife, Nancy, was also arrested.

Dugard was taken directly to the house and sheltered from the world in a secret, leafy backyard, investigators said on Thursday. Her abductor, investigators said, raped her and fathered two children with her, the first when Jaycee was about 14.

Those girls, now 11 and 15, also were kept hidden away in the backyard compound behind the home.

No school, no doctor

"None of the children have ever been to school; they've never been to a doctor," El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation in this compound."

Even a parole agent who visited Garrido's home didn't have an inkling about the hidden compound, Kollar said. Garrido is a registered sex offender on federal parole for rape and kidnapping convictions.

"The way the house is set up, the way the backyard is set up, you could walk through the backyard, walk through the house, and never know," Kollar said.

But neighbors said there were clues. Neighbor Diane Doty said she could see the tents and often heard children playing in the backyard. She said she even suspected the children lived in the tents, but her husband said she should leave the family alone.

Dugard's stepfather, who witnessed her abduction and was a longtime suspect in the case, said yesterday he was overwhelmed by the news after doing everything he could to help find her.

"It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," a tearful Probyn, 60, told The Associated Press at his home in Orange, California.

The case broke after Garrido was spotted on Tuesday with two children as he tried to enter the University of California, Berkeley, campus to hand out religious literature. Officers said he was acting suspiciously toward the children. They questioned him and did a background check, determined that he was a parolee and informed his parole officer.

Garrido was ordered to appear for a parole meeting and arrived on Wednesday with Dugard, who identified herself as "Allissa," his wife, and two children.

During questioning, corrections officials said Carrido admitted to kidnapping Dugard.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend