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Aug 28th, 2009

Kidnapped Girl Resurfaces 18 Years Later

Victim kept as sex slave allegedly had 2 kids by abductor

Image: Phillip Garrido, Nancy Garrido
Phillip Garrido, left, and his wife, Nancy Garrido, are in custody in the 1991 kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl. (Photo credit: Department of Justice via EPA)

Aug. 27, 2009

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — Joyous, miraculous news that a little girl kidnapped nearly two decades ago was found alive gave way Friday to the horrifying details of how police say she has lived all those years: kept by a convicted rapist in his backyard as a sex slave and forced to bear two of his children.

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 in 1991 when she was snatched from her school bus stop, was locked away from the outside world behind a series of fences, sheds and tents in the back of a suburban home, police said. Her abductor, investigators said, raped her for years and fathered two children with her, the first when Jaycee was about 14. Those children, both girls now 11 and 15, also were kept hidden away in the backyard compound.

“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.”

Dugard, now 29, was reunited Thursday with her mother, but the meeting was tempered with sadness as the family learned their smiling, blue-eyed, blonde ponytailed little girl had spent most of her life as a virtual slave.

“She was in good health, but living in a backyard for the past 18 years does take its toll,” Kollar said. The backyard compound had electricity from extension cords and a rudimentary outhouse and shower, “as if you were camping,” Kollar said.


Kidnapped child found 18 years later (NBC Today, Aug. 28, 2009) — Officials in Lake Tahoe, Calif., say a woman who was abducted as an 11-year-old in 1991 has been found alive, having repeatedly been raped by her captor. NBC’s George Lewis reports. (04:37)

Suspect: I’ve turned my life around

Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, 58, was charged with various kidnapping and sex charges. His wife was also arrested, and authorities said she was with Garrido during the kidnapping in South Lake Tahoe.

Suspect speaks out (NBC News, Aug. 27, 2009) – Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender, was arrested in connection with the 1991 kidnapping of a California girl. He spoke with a reporter from jail, claiming he had turned his life around. (01:24)

Garrido told NBC station KCRA of Sacramento in a telephone interview Thursday from jail that he has turned his life around.

“Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this house,” he said. “You are going to be completely impressed. It’s a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning. But I turned my life completely around and to be able to understand that, you have to start there.”

He added: “If you take this a step at a time you’re going to fall over backwards and in the end, you’re going to find the most powerful heart-warming story.”

Nothing seemed amiss

Garrido was on lifetime parole, and his arrest raises questions about how closely parolees are monitored. But Kollar said a visitor to Garrido’s house would not notice anything was amiss — the compound was well concealed by shrubs, garbage cans and a tarp. Authorities said they do not know if Garrido also abused his daughters, but they are investigating.


Case solved (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 27, 2009) — Jaycee Lee Dugard was 11 when she was abducted near her home. NBC’s George Lewis reports. (05:44)

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

Garrido was ordered to appear for a parole meeting and arrived Wednesday with Dugard, his wife and two children. During questioning, corrections officials said he admitted kidnapping Dugard. It was not known if he had a lawyer.


Stepfather: Girl’s return is a ‘miracle’ (NBC Today, Aug. 28, 2009) — The stepfather of a girl kidnapped from near her California home in 1991 talks with Ann Curry about the woman’s return nearly 20 years later. (05:09)

Dugard’s stepfather, who witnessed her abduction and was a longtime suspect in the case, said 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 Carl Probyn, 60, told The Associated Press at his home in Orange, California.

Neighbors weigh in

Garrido’s compound was located in Antioch, a city of 100,000 about 170 miles from her family’s home in South Lake Tahoe. The house was cordoned off with police tape as it was searched by FBI agents and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

People who knew Garrido said he became increasingly fanatic about his religious beliefs in recent years, sometimes breaking out into song and claiming that God spoke to him through a box.

Jaycee Lee Dugard’s stepfather provided this photo of her. (AP)

“In the last couple years he started getting into this strange religious stuff. We kind of felt sorry for him,” said Tim Allen, president of East County Glass and Window Inc. in Pittsburgh, who bought business cards and letterhead from Garrido’s printing business for the last decade. Three times in recent years, Garrido arrived at Allen’s showroom with two “cute little blond girls” in tow, he said.

In April 2008, Garrido registered a corporation called Gods Desire at his home address, according the California Secretary of State. During recent visits to the showroom, Garrido would talk about quitting the printing business to preach full time and gave the impression he was setting up a church, Allen said.

“He rambled. It made no sense,” he said.

Garrido would talk about holding events at UC Berkeley and mentioned the names of important people as if he knew them. Allen said he had no inkling of Garrido’s criminal record.

“We never thought anything bad about the guy,” Allen said. “He was just kind of nutty.”

In addition to kidnapping charges, Phillip Garrido is being held for investigation of rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and sexual penetration, said Jimmie Lee, a spokesman for the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department. His wife, Nancy Garrido, 54, was arrested on kidnapping charges.

A neighbor, Cheyvonne Molino, told the Contra Costa Times she started seeing the girls this summer when their father brought them by the Molinos’ auto wrecking yard when doing printing business for them.

“I don’t think they realized anything was wrong or different except they didn’t go to schools with other kids,” said Molino, who was told that the girls were home-schooled, described them as “very shy” and said the older one was “very clingy to her father.”

Long criminal record

Garrido has a long rap sheet dating back to the 1970s.

He has a conviction for rape by force or fear and was paroled from a Nevada state prison in 1988, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In 1991, police believe he was trolling for victims in South Lake Tahoe in a Ford Granada and snatched Dugard from a bus stop outside her home. The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted,” which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.

Her stepfather said he saw someone reach out and grab her before the car sped away.

“As soon as I saw the door fly open, the driver’s door, I jumped on my mountain bike and I tried to get to the top of the hill but I had no energy,” Probyn recalled. “I rode back down and yelled at my neighbor, 911!”

Stepdad struggles to understand

Probyn said his wife, from whom he is separated, was devastated by the kidnapping. He said for 10 years after the crime, she would take a week off work at Christmas and on the anniversary of the abduction and spend the time crying at home.

Image: Jaycee Lee Dugard
An undated screenshot shows an FBI flyer for Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991. (Photo credit: FBI via EPA)

Probyn eventually lost hope that he would ever see his stepdaughter alive. He said he was struggling to understand why Dugard didn’t come forward earlier.

“I don’t know if she was brainwashed, I don’t know if she was walking around on the street, I don’t know if she was locked up under key for 18 years, I have no idea.”

The mother and daughter met Thursday morning at an area hotel. Dugard retains custody of her children, authorities said.

Probyn said that he got a call from his wife shortly after she got the news of Dugard’s reappearance.

“She said, ‘They found Jaycee. She’s alive,'” he told the Contra Costa Times. “We cried for about two minutes.” …

Resident Angie Keil said the Lake Tahoe community rallied around the family, holding candlelight vigils, and in the early days organizing searches.

“Jaycee has always been in our minds, all these years,” she said, her eyes moist with tears.


Profiler on California kidnapping case (NBC News, Aug. 28, 2009) — NBC analyst and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt talks with TODAY’s Ann Curry about the case of Jaycee Lee Dugard, found after being kidnapped nearly two decades ago from a California bus stop. (03:41)


3/5/10 Update

Kidnap victim Dugard shares home videos (AP, March 5, 2010) — Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard, held captive for 18 years in a ramshackle backyard compound, was seen cooking with her sister and mother and riding horses in recently shot home videos aired on ABC. … Full story


6/3/11 Update

Jaycee Dugard: I was too scared to try to escape (AP and, June 2, 2011) – A California woman who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years says she was so afraid of her abductors that she never tried to escape. In portions of a grand jury transcript released Thursday, Jaycee Dugard said she was zapped with a stun gun while being taken from a South Lake Tahoe street near where her family lived on the morning of June 10, 1991. She said she was kept under a blanket in a car as she was whisked away to the home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. … Full story

Image: Phillip and Nancy Garrido
Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape charges. (Photo composite: Max Whittaker / Reuters)


Other child abduction cases on this site

Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels (Jan. 7, 2009)
Includes reporting on the disappearance of Joshua Guimond

Ottis Toole Murdered Adam Walsh (Dec. 16, 2008)

Image: Adam Walsh


Related reports on this site

Jacob Wetterling Freedom Walk (Dec. 21, 2009)

Guimond: “Justice for Josh” March (Nov. 9, 2009)

Missing Person Joshua Guimond (Nov. 7, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On (Oct. 22, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling Celebration (Oct. 16, 2009)

Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive (Aug. 28, 2009)

Wetterling Friend Shares Story (Apr. 28, 2009)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago Today — August 28, 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Day 45

One year ago today, on the 45th day of my campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination as House of Representatives candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I traveled to Annandale, where I appeared with Dan “Ox” Ochsner and Mike Landy of Newstalk KNSI AM 1040 (Leighton Broadcasting) at Camp Friendship to benefit Friendship Ventures, a non-profit agency that creates educational, recreational, and social opportunities for people with mental and physical developmental disabilities.

12 Responses to “Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive | My-Song Articles Says:

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  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Missing Person Joshua Guimond Says:

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  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Wetterling Friend Shares Story Says:

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  9. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Ottis Toole Murdered Adam Walsh Says:

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  10. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels Says:

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