Jaycee Lee Dugard, abducted aged 11, turns up alive in California after 18 years as Sex slave and with 2 children
28th August 2009
A girl who was kidnapped on her way to school 18 years ago has been found alive and well.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, 29, told police in California she had been held prisoner by a known sex offender and his wife.
Rapist Phillip Garrido, 58, fathered two daughters with her, one when she was just 14 and the second four years later.
Local police chief Fred Kollar said she and the children were forced to live in sheds and tents hidden in the Garridos' back garden.
The children were born on the property and had never been to school or seen a doctor.
Sheriff Kollar said: 'Our search revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard. It had sheds, tents and outbuildings.'
He said Miss Dugard and her daughters lived in two sheds, both about 10ft by 10ft.
One was soundproofed and could only be opened from the outside. Power was provided by leads from the house's electricity supply.
They also had two small tents and a 'rudimentary' shower and toilet, 'as if you were camping,' the Sheriff said.
The secret backyard was hidden from neighbours by a 6ft fence and tall trees. Garrido got in and out through a tarpaulin covering the entrance.
Sheriff Kollar said: 'Jaycee was in good health. But living in a backyard for 18 years does take its toll.'
He added: 'None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor. They were kept in complete isolation in this compound.'
The grey car used in the June 1991 abduction was also found hidden in the garden.
The revelations have shocking parallels with the case of Austrian Josef Fritzl, who fathered seven children with the daughter he kept prisoner in a cellar at his home.
Last night Miss Dugard had an emotional reunion with her mother Terry, who had been shocked and 'overjoyed' to learn she was still alive.
Neighbours of the Garridos in the town of Antioch, near San Francisco, said their house had barred windows and Garrido conducted bizarre religious ceremonies in a tent in the garden.
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.
A web blog reportedly started by Garrido include bizarre religious ramblings. One post says: ‘The Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world.’
Following his arrest, he has been charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, rape and committing lewd acts with a minor. His wife Nancy, 55, was charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.
Freedom for Miss Dugard, who her captors had renamed Allissa, came after Garrido aroused the suspicions of guards as he tried to give out religious leaflets to students on the Berkeley campus of the University of California.
A campus policeman checked Garrido's record and discovered he was a listed sex offender and on parole after serving a jail sentence for a vicious rape and kidnapping in Nevada in 1971.
State police were called and ordered Garrido to check in at his parole office. He arrived there with his wife, 'Allissa' and the two children.
The parole officer was immediately suspicious as he had never seen the younger woman and the two girls on visits to Garrido's home.
He called police who began questioning Allissa and discovered she was really Miss Dugard.
During questioning, corrections officials said Garrido admitted kidnapping Dugard. Investigators said he did not yet have an attorney.
Authorities said they do not know if the sex offender also abused his daughters, but they are investigating.
The case raises questions about how closely parolees are monitored and the proximity of Garrido's house and garden to other properties makes it even more incredible he was not caught before.
Sheriff Kollar said a parole officer who had visited Garrido's house previously had not noticed anything amiss because the compound was well concealed by shrubs, garbage cans and a tarp.
The hidden compound was arranged in such a way 'to isolate the victims from outside contact', he said.
Garrido is said to have conducted religious revival ceremonies in a tent in the grounds of his home, which had bars on the windows.
Neighbour Haydee Perry, 35, said he helped her jump-start her car a month ago and had a young girl clinging to him oddly.
The girl told Perry that Garrido was her father and that she had older sisters, including one who was 28 - one year younger than Jaycee Dugard is now.
'She stayed close to him at all times,' Perry said of the girl. 'It wasn't normal behavior. She had a blank stare on her face. Now it seems like a cry out for help.'
Perry said Garrido told her he home-schooled girls in his house and that they did not swear or watch TV.
'I just thought he was weird,' Perry said. 'You have children and they're never outside, and you have bars on your windows.'
Tim Allen from Pittsburgh, who bought products from Garrido's printing business over the last 10 years, said he had seen him three times in recent years with two 'cute little blond girls'.
Mr Allen said he had no idea about the man's criminal record: 'We never thought anything bad about the guy. He was just kind of nutty.'
'In the last couple years he started getting into this strange religious stuff. We kind of felt sorry for him. He rambled. It made no sense.'
He had recently been talking about quitting printing and preaching full time and gave the impression he was setting up a church, Mr Allen said.
The California Secretary of State revealed Garrido registered a corporation called God's Desire at his home address in April 2008.
Miss Dugard had been just 11 when she was seen being dragged screaming and kicking into a car near her school in South Lake Tahoe, California.
She was last seen walking to a bus stop at 8:15am. As she walked, a grey sedan was seen making a U-turn in the street.
The car approached Jaycee and a woman described as about 30 years old with long, dark hair pulled her inside. A man was also seen in the car.
Despite a blaze of publicity and a major hunt for the couple, nothing was heard from her until she reappeared 200 miles away.
Her stepfather Carl Probyn, 60, who had been considered by some as a suspect, said last night: 'I had personally given up all hope.
'I had just hoped for a recovery [of a body] and to find the people responsible - now I've actually won the lotto!'
Mr Probyn said the nightmare had torn his family apart. He and Jaycee's mother have been separated for ten years, partly due to the stresses of the case, but have remained in contact.
‘I've gone through hell,’ said Mr Probyn, noting that investigators and even members of the extended family looked at him suspiciously for months afterward.
The stepfather described how he saw his daughter being snatched. 'I saw them pull her in and I tried to get her,' Probyn said.
Jaycee's discovery brings fresh hope for the parents of Madeleine McCann, as proof that missing children do sometimes turn up safe years later.
Kate and Gerry McCann have refused to give up searching for daughter, who vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
A spokesman said last night: 'Kate and Gerry always draw great strength from any child being found alive no matter how long after the event of them going missing.
'This will come as extremely encouraging news to them and I know they will be very interested in learning more details.
'Without commenting on the specifics of this young lady's case, I know they will wish her well and hope her case is resolved as quickly and effectively as possible.'
Mr Probyn said he heard his stepdaughter had been found in a call from his wife saying she had been contacted by the FBI.
Mr Probyn said she was in shock at the reappearance of their daughter, who has a 19-year-old sister.
He said the first phone conversation between mother and daughter had been 'kind of short and sweet' but his wife said Miss Dugard remembers everything.
Mr Probyn said he was appalled that his stepdaughter had been forced to have Garrido's children.
He said: 'This man is probably in a cult, He is sick. I am shocked, outraged and devastated this has happened to Jaycee.'
Haydee Perry, 35, who lived next door to the Garridos, said that when he helped her jumpstart her car a month ago, there was a young girl clinging to him.
She said he was her father and that she had older sisters.
Miss Perry said Garrido told her he schooled the girls at home and that they did not swear or watch TV. 'I just thought he was weird,' she said.
Other captives who came back from the dead
The shock return of Jaycee Lee Dugard is a rare case of a child reappearing long after they have been abducted.
ELIZABETH SMART was found by police in Utah in 2003 a few miles away from the Salt Lake City home from which she had been kidnapped nine months earlier. In June 2002, Elizabeth, then 14, was abducted at knifepoint from her bedroom by a man prosecutors claimed was Brian Mitchell, a drifter and self-styled 'polygamist prophet' who had done oddjobs at her parents' home.
They said Mitchell had forced the girl to live as his wife during her time in captivity. He and his wife, Wanda Barzee, are still in custody but have never been tried because they were ruled mentally incompetent. 'Statistically, everyone said she was dead,' said Elizabeth's father, Ed. 'The not knowing was so horrible.' Elizabeth is now a 21-year-old university student studying music.
NATASCHA KAMPUSCH was held captive in an Austrian cellar for eight years after she disappeared on her way to school in Vienna in 1998 when she was ten. She was 21 when she escaped in August 2006 while kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil was cleaning his car. She had been held prisoner in a tiny hidden cellar underneath Priklopil's garage, the entrance concealed behind a cupboard.
For the first six months, Natascha wasn't allowed out of the chamber at all, and for several years she still had to sleep there at nights. Priklopil warned Natascha he would kill her if she tried to escape. Her captor ended up killing himself by jumping in front of a train as police pursued him.
ELISABETH FRITZL was 18 when her father Josef drugged her with ether imprisoned her in the cellar warren he had built beneath the family home in Amstetten, two hours from Vienna. For 24 years she was raped and assaulted and had seven children through incest.
Three of the children had been imprisoned along with their mother underground for their whole lives before their release last year. Fritzl was jailed for life in March this year after being convicted of murder, rape, enslavement and incest.
SHAWN HORNBECK was held captive and tortured by pizza parlour manager Mike Devlin for more than four years after he was abducted in Missouri aged 11. Devlin was caught in 2007 after he tried to kidnap a second boy, aged 13. Devlin is now serving 72 years in prison.