Jaycee Dugard Found After 18 Years, Kidnap Suspect Allegedly Fathered Her Kids
Kidnapper allegedly fathered Jaycee Dugard's children, kept her hidden in yard.
LOS ANGELES Aug. 27, 2009— -- A girl who was snatched off the street 18 years ago has been found and the man-and-wife team that allegedly grabbed her has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape, officials said today.
The identity of Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, was revealed when she accompanied Phillip Garrido for questioning by his California parole officer. Garrido, a convicted kidnapper and rapist, also was accompanied by his wife Nancy and two young children that Garrido said were his.
Undersheriff Fred Kollar said in a news conference that Jaycee was the mother of the two young children who had been fathered by Garrido.
Jaycee, who Garrido had renamed Allissa, was reunited with her mother Terry Probyn today, and the mother told ABC News that her daughter had been held against her will all these years and confined in a box in the back of the Garrido's house.
Kollar said that Jaycee had been held captive at a house in Antioch, Calif., since the day she was abducted and none of their neighbors ever knew.
He described the location as a "hidden back yard" within a larger yard that was arranged in such a way "to isolate the victims from outside contact."
Entrance to the secret yard was guarded by a 6-foot-tall fence, tall trees and a tarp, he said.
Kollar said Jaycee and the two children lived a series of sheds, including one that was soundproofed and that could only be opened from the outside. In addition, there were two tents in the yard.
"None of the children had ever gone to school, they had never gone to a doctor," Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation."
When asked about Jaycee's condition, the undersheriff said, "She is in good health, but living in a backyard for 18 years does take its toll."
Jaycee was with her mother today along with her two children, ages 11 and 15.
Garrido had been called in for questioning by his parole officer after being alerted by University of California-Berkeley campus security that Garrido was acting suspiciously.
When Garrido showed up for his grilling, there was difficulty in establishing the identity of everyone with him, said Scott Kernan, undersecretary for operations of California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Under questioning, Garrido admitted to having kidnapped Dugard when she was 11 years old.
"There is nothing to indicate this was anything other than a stranger abduction," Kollar said. "No connection to the family. They literally snatched her off the streets."
Officers were convinced that Garrido was telling the truth when he and Jaycee told them details that only the kidnapper and victim would know, Kollar said.
Both Phillip Garrido, who is a 58-year-old registered sex offender, and Nancy Garrido, 54, are being held on $1 million bail, charged with kidnapping to commit rape.
The stunning news that Jaycee was alive and had been found elated Jaycee's parents.
"I had personally given up hope," her step-father Carl Probyn said. "I had just hoped for a recovery" and to find the people responsible.
Instead, he said, "I've actually won the lotto."
But as the day wore on and details emerged of Jaycee's ordeal, Probyn became distraught.
Breaking down in tears, Probyn told ABC News, "My girl has no proper schooling and I don't even know what shape she is in. I don't know if she was treated like an animal. ... This is so horrific, I don't believe it."