Jaycee Dugard Breaks Her Silence, Spokesman Says She'll Help Prosecutors

Smiling Jaycee Dugard on People mag cover, says she's "so happy."

ByLEE FERRAN and SUZAN CLARKE via via logo
October 13, 2009, 8:15 PM

Oct. 14, 2009— -- A smiling, seemingly happy Jaycee Dugard graces the cover of upcoming issue of People Magazine as a sign that after 18 years in captivity, life is finally getting back to normal.

"I am so happy to be back with my family, nothing is more important than the unconditional love and support I have from them," Dugard told People in an issue that is on newstands Friday.

While Dugard has been protective over her and her family's privacy, a family spokesman said she wanted to show the world she's doing all right.

"She has such a deep appreciation for this new life that she's embarking on," Dugard family spokesman Erika Price Schulte told "Good Morning America" today. "She did want to thank everyone and really let everyone see how happy she is and how much she's enjoying this and how happy she is to be home."

Dugard was 11 years old when she was allegedly abducted by Phillip Garrido, who police say held her captive in the backyard of his California home for 18 years and fathered two children with her.

Dugard was dramatically reunited with her mother in August when police realized her identity after she accompanied Garrido to meeting with his parole officer.

After nearly two decades of captivity, Schulte said Dugard, along with her two daughters, are quickly integrating into the new family unit with Dugard's mother and sister and are transitioning well back into more normal lives.

"They are such a family... The five of them are such a tight, tight unit. I look at them and it's just so normal. It's just extraordinary," said Schulte who has visited the family several times.

Dugard is undergoing therapy to help her deal with her traumatic past, which focuses on spending time with her family, riding horses and cooking her special rice, beans and salsa, Schulte said.

"She has a love of horses," Schulte said.

Though Dugard reportedly told People magazine that she has not yet truly faced what happened to her, Schulte said she is prepared to "cooperate fully" with Garrido's prosecution.

Dugard's two daughters are also doing well, Schulte said, and continue to be homeschooled as they were under Dugard's care in captivity, now with the help of tutors.

"They are bright, darling girls, who are curious and interested in the world around them," Schulte said of the girls who are photographed from behind in the People issue. "It's amazing what Jaycee was able to do under those circumstances."

Garrido Under Investigation, Pleads Not Guilty

The California Inspector General has launched an investigation into how the accused kidnapper was able to keep Dugard hidden for so many years even though parole officers and police were assigned to check on him as a condition of his previous conviction.

Garrido, of Antioch, Calif., was forced to register as a sex offender after being convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in California in the 1970s. He served 10 years in prison for the crime.

Along with his wife Nancy, the 58-year-old is charged with 29 counts of kidnapping, rape and imprisonment. He is also a suspect in the disappearance of other young girls.

Nancy Garrido's attorney claimed the woman was under Phillip's control the whole time, but also acknowledged that she watched over Dugard's captivity for five months while Philip Garrido was in prison for violating his parole.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is being held on $30 million bond.

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