Jeannette Tamayo: How Did She Escape Her Kidnapper?


ABC "20/20" anchor Chris Cuomo recently traveled back to California to catch up with Jeannette and another woman with a similarly horrific tale, Midsi Sanchez.

Midsi was kidnapped on Aug. 10, 2000, and survived two days of sexual abuse chained in a car. Her kidnapper was Curtis Dean Anderson, a notorious serial molester who, years later, admitted to killing two little girls, Xiana Fairchild and Amber Swartz. Anderson was caught hours after Midsi escaped from his car.

The years have not passed easily for Midsi or Jeannette. For years, Jeannette dealt with her personal pain by writing about it in her diary using invisible ink. She almost never left her house, stuck in the clutches of a paralyzing fear.

"Fear was taking the best out of me. It was taking over," Jeannette told "20/20." "I was afraid of people, especially men. Even the men in my family."

Jeannette underwent years of therapy before she could feel comfortable venturing beyond her fortress of solitude. She recalled one specific day at the mall, three years ago.

She was 15 and remembered thinking, "I'm OK. I can do this. Everything's going to be OK. No more fear."

Watch Jeannette Tamayo and Midsi Sanchez tell their stories on "20/20."

ABC News' Alison Hall contributed to this report.

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