Abducted 11-Year-Old Located 18 Years Later, Jaycee Lee Dugard
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Jaycee Lee Dugard Found: Family Says Abducted 11-Year-Old Located 18 Years Later
Jayce Lee Dugard's Stepfather Says California Authorities Have Woman, Suspected Captors
By SARAH NETTER
Aug. 27, 2009—
A California stepfather who heard his little girl scream as she was abducted 18 years ago said she has been found alive and well and her captors are in custody.
A woman claiming to be Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, walked into a police station in tiny Antioch, Calif., Wednesday, her stepfather Carl Probyn told ABCNews.com today. Based on conversations his wife has had with police, the FBI and the woman herself, Probyn said the family is convinced Jaycee has been found.
"I had personally given up hope," he said. "I had just hoped for a recovery" and to find the people responsible.
Instead, he said, "I've actually won the lotto."
Authorities are keeping mum until a press conference at 6 p.m. ET, but court records show that a search warrant was issued Wednesday for 1554 Walnut Ave., Antioch. Records indicate it is the address of Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
Additional court records state that the Garridos are in police custody in Concord, Calif. Both are charged with kidnapping to commit rape and bail was set at $1 million.
FBI Sacramento Special Agent Steve Dupre told ABCNews.com today that he could not confirm any details about the woman, but that "we've had an open case since it happened in '91."
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, which covers the area where Jaycee was taken, declined to provide further details.
Helen Boyer, the Garridos' neighbor for more than 10 years, said she would be completely shocked if it turned out they had something to do with Jaycee's kidnapping.
"There was no girl living next door as far as I knew," she said.
Boyer said the couple were caregivers to Phillips Garrido's bedridden mother. They would sometimes have three young blonde girls, friends of the family, she said, come visit.
"They were real good neighbors," she said. "Real nice people."
Probyn said his stepdaughter had been transferred from Antioch to Concord, a smaller city in the area more than a two hour drive from the South Lake Tahoe, Calif., neighborhood where Jaycee was snatched on June 10, 1991 as she tried to catch the bus to school.
"I saw them pull her in and I tried to get her," Probyn said.
The kidnapping terrified the community and led to a massive manhunt.
His wife, Terry Probyn, who now lives in Orange County, left for northern California at 6 a.m. today, joining the couple's 19-year-old daughter who was just a year old when her sister was kidnapped.
"She's in shock," Probyn said of his wife. "I told her and my daughter to sit down there and think of questions to ask her."
Probyn said he doesn't have any details of what had happened to Jaycee for the last 18 years or who abducted her, but he claims that the FBI told his wife that "they have Jaycee and the people she was with."
"She sounds like she's okay," he said. "She had a conversation with my wife and she remembers things. I hope she's been well treated this entire 18 years."
No DNA test has been done to confirm the woman's claims, but Probyn said his wife told him that she remembers her childhood. Plus, he added, the FBI likely wouldn't have upset his wife unnecessarily unless they were pretty sure.
Looking for Jaycee: 'I've Gone Through Hell'
Jaycee's abduction tore at the entire family.
"I've gone through hell," Probyn said, noting that investigators and even members of the extended family looked at him suspiciously for months afterward.
He and his wife, though still legally married, were separated.
Now Probyn just wants to find out who these people are that took his daughter and why.
And of course, to see the now-grown woman he thought was gone for good.
Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, told ABCNews.com today that while remarkable, the possible discovery of Jaycee reinforces data that shows kidnappers who are not related to the child typically aren't child killers.
"The Jaycee Dugard case is huge," he said. "There are some people who assume that when a child disappears there is no hope."
"This provides hope," he said, "for so many searching families."
Many children abducted in the same manner as Jaycee do not have such a happy ending.
Though the country rejoiced when Elizabeth Smart was found alive months after the 14-year-old was snatched, many are never heard from again.
One of the most famous missing children cases is that of Etan Patz, the Manhattan boy who disappeared while walking to a school bus in Manhattan in 1979. Despite 30 years of investigations and theories, no trace of the boy has been found.
In June it appeared that a boy who disappeared in 1955 had turned up alive. John Barnes of Michigan was convinced that he was actually Stephen Damman, snatched from his stroller when he was 2-years-old and living on Long Island, N.Y.
Stephen Damman's 78-year-old father Jerry Damman became hopeful that he was finally being reunited with his son, but DNA tests dashed his dream.
"It's disappointing and it's too bad we had to go through all of this for actually nothing in the end," Damman said after the results of the tests were revealed.
Steven Stayner was also a prominent case of a kidnapped boy. He was a California boy who was snatched at the age of 7 in 1972. Nine years later he went into a police station after his captor had grabbed another boy. "I know my first name is Steven," he told police. Stayner's story later became a television movie.
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures
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- Jaycee Lee Dugard had two children with the man accused of taking her by LCD
Kidnap victim, children kept in backyard shed
An 11-year-old California girl snatched from the street in front of her house in 1991 had two children with the man accused of taking her.
Sheriff: Kidnap victim, children kept in backyard shed
NEW: Kidnapped girl grew up, had children with captor, sheriff says
Sex offender admitted to having abducted girl in South Lake Tahoe, police say
Phillip Garrido, Nancy Garrido booked on charges related to kidnapping
Jaycee Dugard disappeared in South Lake Tahoe, California, at age 11 in 1991
(CNN) -- An 11-year-old California girl snatched from the street in front of her house in 1991 had two children with the man accused of taking her and lived in a secret backyard shed, authorities said Thursday.
The 18-year mystery of what happened to Jaycee Dugard ended this week when a sex offender admitted to corrections authorities that he abducted her.
Jaycee was abducted from South Lake Tahoe in June 1991, said Fred Kollar, undersheriff of El Dorado County. The case began to unfold when the sex offender, Phillip Garrido, 58, was stopped and questioned by campus police at the University of California at Berkeley.
With him were two children and a woman identified only as Alissa, who DNA tests later revealed was Dugard, now 29. The children were later determined to be Garrido's and Dugard's, Kollar said.
During questioning by a parole officer, Garrido admitted to having abducted Dugard and said the two children were his, said Scott Kernan, undersecretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Watch police talk about why they arrested Garrido »
Garrido and and his wife, Nancy, were taken into custody and held at the jail in Concord, California. An officer at the jail said the two had been booked and were ordered held on $1 million bail. They are now being held in El Dorado County, according to public records.
Phillip Garrido had been booked on charges of kidnapping, Conspiracy and related offenses, the officer said. Nancy Garrido was booked on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy.
Phillip Garrido was paroled from a Nevada state prison June 8, 1988, and served time in federal custody and in Nevada for sexual assault, the corrections department said. The Department of Justice's Megan's Law page shows that the arrest involved a charge of forcible rape.
Dugard, now 29, is in "good health," the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department said.
Earlier Thursday, Carl Probyn, Dugard's stepfather, said an FBI agent had called his wife, Terry, on Wednesday afternoon to tell her that Dugard had been found.
He witnessed the abduction of the blond, blue-eyed girl, who was wearing a pink windbreaker and pink stretch pants as she walked to her bus stop on June 10, 1991. Watch the stepfather describe finding out Jaycee is alive »
At the time, "it was reported that a vehicle occupied by two individuals drove up to Jaycee Dugard and abducted her in view of her stepfather," the El Dorado County Sheriff's office said Thursday.
The El Dorado County Sheriff's office scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) to discuss the case.
Probyn said his wife, who was flying Thursday from Southern California to meet with Dugard, spoke to her daughter on Wednesday.
"Jaycee remembers everything," he said. "They talked back and forth and she had the right answers to all my wife's questions."
He said, "I'm feeling great! ... It's like winning the Lotto."
Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said the reappearance of Dugard is "absolutely huge."
"One of the things that we preach to searching families all the time ... is that even in these long-term cases there's hope," he said.
"Even in these long-term cases ... it's important that we not let the world forget."
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- Re: Abducted 11-Year-Old Located 18 Years Later, Jaycee Lee Dugard by Lonefeather
My sister lived 3 houses down from Garrido 10 yrs ago and my sons friend lives right across the street from him. It freaks me out to think garrido was across the street from where i was waiting in my car to pick up my son on many occasions.
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