A girl snatched on her way to school was hidden for nearly two decades behind a series of fences, sheds and tents, even giving birth to her suspected abductor's children in the suburban backyard compound less than 200 miles from her childhood home.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 when she was abducted from a South Lake Tahoe street in 1991, was taken directly to the house and sheltered from the world in a secret, leafy backyard, investigators said Thursday.
Her abductor, investigators said, raped her and fathered two children with her, the first when Jaycee was about
14. Those girls, now 11 and 15, also were kept hidden away in the backyard compound behind the Antioch home.
"None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor," El Dorado County Undersheriff
Fred Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation in this compound."
Even a parole agent who visited 58-year-old Phillip Garrido's home didn't have an inkling about the hidden compound, Kollar said. Garrido is a registered sex offender on federal parole for rape and kidnapping convictions.
"The way the house is set up, the way the backyard is set up, you could walk through the backyard, walk through the house, and never know," Kollar said.
"He's had her for 18 years. Now, it's our turn. I have no compassion for this guy," he said Friday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America."
But neighbors said there were clues even before a parole agent on Wednesday noticed Dugard, now 29, who accompanied Garrido, his wife and the children to a parole office.
Neighbor Diane Doty said she could see the tents and often heard children playing in the backyard, the corner of
which abuts her own backyard. She said she even suspected the children lived in the tents, but her husband said she should leave the family alone.
"I asked my husband, 'Why is he living in tents?'" she said. "And he said, 'Maybe that is how they like to live.'"
Dugard's stepfather, who witnessed her abduction and was a longtime suspect in the case, said he was overwhelmed by the news after doing everything he could to help find her.
"It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," a tearful Carl Probyn, 60, told The Associated Press at his home in Orange, Calif.
Carl Probyn told CBS' "Early Show" Friday morning that he spoke to his wife late Thursday after she reunited with Dugard and everyone was "doing great."
"I think they're pretty happy," he said, noting six people were together at the reunion - Jaycee Dugard, her two daughters, her sister, mother and another relative.
In interviews on NBC, ABC and CBS Friday morning, Probyn said the most surprising thing to his wife was that
Jaycee looks very young, almost like she did when she taken.
Probyn also said Dugard felt terribly guilty for bonding with her captor, and her family felt troubled by learning the facts of how she was forced to live for 18 years.
Garrido, 58, is being held for investigation of various kidnapping and sex charges. Authorities said his 54-year-old wife, Nancy Garrido, was with him during the kidnapping in South Lake Tahoe and she also has been arrested.
The case broke after Garrido was spotted Tuesday with two children as he tried to enter the University of California, Berkeley, campus to hand out religious literature. Officers said he was acting suspiciously toward the children. They questioned him and did a background check, determined that he was a parolee and informed his parole officer.
Garrido was ordered to appear for a parole meeting and arrived Wednesday with Dugard, who identified herself as "Allissa," his wife, and two children. During questioning, corrections officials said he admitted to kidnapping Dugard.
Investigators said he did not yet have an attorney.
Dugard was reunited Thursday with her mother as her family learned that their blue-eyed, blonde ponytailed little girl had spent most of her life in captivity. Police said they had no evidence that she had ever reached out to anyone beyond the compound walls.
"She was in good health, but living in a backyard for the past 18 years does take its toll," Kollar said.
The backyard compound had electricity from extension cords and a rudimentary outhouse and shower, "as if you were camping," Kollar said.
Authorities said they do not know if Garrido also abused his daughters, but they are investigating.
Garrido's compound was located in Antioch, a city of 100,000 about 170 miles from the Dugard family home in South Lake Tahoe.
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.
"In the last couple years he started getting into this strange religious stuff. We kind of felt sorry for him," said Tim Allen, president of East County Glass and Window Inc. in Pittsburg, Calif., who bought business cards and letterhead from Garrido's printing business for the last decade.
Three times in recent years, Garrido arrived at Allen's showroom with two "cute little blond girls" in tow, he said.
In April 2008, Garrido registered a corporation called Gods Desire at his home address, according to the California Secretary of State. During recent visits to the showroom, Garrido would talk about quitting the printing business to preach full time and gave the impression he was setting up a church, Allen said.
"He rambled. It made no sense," he said.
In a blog that appears to have been maintained by Garrido, he wrote that he had hired a private investigator to verify his ability to speak to people using only his mind. In an "affadavit" posted there, he said he had the ability to "control sound with my mind and have developed a device for others to witness this phenomena."
Garrido gave a rambling, sometimes incoherent phone interview to KCRA-TV from the El Dorado County jail
Thursday in which he said he had not admitted to a kidnapping and that he had turned his life around since the birth of his first daughter 15 years ago.
"I tell you here's the story of what took place at this house, and you're going to be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place from the end to the beginning. But I turned my life completely around," he said.
In addition to kidnapping allegations, court records showed both Garridos were being held for investigation of rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and kidnapping someone under 14 with intent to rape. Phillip Garrido also faces allegations of sexual penetration.
UPDATE: 2 SEPT 2009
Jaycee Lee Dugard's daughters Starlite and Angel 'thought she was their big sister and know nothing of the outside world'
Starlite and Angel had their picture taken at a party just a week before Garrido was arrested for the alleged kidnap of Jaycee
The two daughters of kidnapped Jaycee Lee Dugard have no knowledge of the world beyond the house they were brought up in, it was revealed today.
Starlite, 15, and 11-year-old Angel have never watched TV and have no concept of maths, geography or history after being 'starved of information' by Phillip Garrido.
With their mother, the girls are now undergoing treatment by psychologists to break the 'brainwashing' spell Garrido had over them.
He added: 'They have never watched TV and have no concept of maths, geography or anything outside their town of Antioch. They have never heard of the President of the USA or anything about the wider world.'
It had been previously claimed the girls had spent a lot of time watching Disney shows such as Hannah Montana.
The family have been moved to a safe house in San Francisco with Jaycee's mother Terry Probyn and their aunt Tina Dugard. Experts are attempting to maintain their daily lives as much it was in the compound, with the same food.
The police source said: 'They are being given TV microwave dinners and their favourite meat-loaf meals.
'They have never had fizzy drinks so they get cooled water, which is what they are used to. As they have never seen TV before, the TV in the house has been removed.
'With every day Angel becomes more lively, but Starlite is quiet and appears very shy.'
The two girls are coming to terms with the news that Garrido was not the 'perfect father'.
Jaycee is revealing 'bit by bit' to the girls how he snatched her at a bus stop while she was on her way to school aged 11 and kept her prisoner for 18 years.
She is telling how she pretended to be Garrido's wife and brought them up as his daughters to ensure they all survived. "This is going to take years of therapy," said Jaycee's stepfather.
Today it was claimed that Phillip Garrido's wife misses the children her husband fathered with his Jaycee.
A lawyer for Nancy Garrido told CBS's 'The Early Show' that her client said she saw them all as a family.
UPDATE: 14 OCT 2009
Kidnap Survivor Jaycee Dugard Emerges from the Shadows
Jaycee Dugard breaks silence, saying she's beginning recovery
In her first interview, Jaycee Dugard said she's grateful she is out of captivity and glad to be reunited with her family.
"I am so happy to be back with my family, nothing is more important than the unconditional love and support I have from them," she told People magazine, which published the first photos of Dugard since she was rescued.
Phillip Garrido is charged with kidnapping Dugard outside her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, when she was 11.
She resurfaced this summer along with two daughters allegedly fathered by Garrido.
Until now, Dugard has remained in seclusion, reconnecting with family.
"She has such a deep appreciation for this new life that she's embarking on," Dugard family spokesman Erika Price Schulte told ABC News this morning.
People reports that Dugard "rides horses, cooks meals and is thinking of collaborating on a book."
UPDATE: 2 JUL 2010
Kidnap Victim Jaycee Lee Dugard to receive $20 million from State of California
California lawmakers approved a $20 million settlement yesterday, which Gov. Schwarzenegger says he will sign, for the family of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped as a girl and held captive in a secret backyard for 18 years by a paroled sex offender. The Dugard family members claimed psychological, physical and emotional damages, as they filed claims in February saying state officials with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation failed to do their jobs. Parole officers began supervising Garrido in 1999, but 5 of them through the years failed to discover he was harboring Dugard. Dugard, now 30, resurfaced last August with two daughters (who are now 15 and 12) she bore with Garrido while imprisoned in his backyard. The money will be used to buy the family a home, ensure privacy, pay for education and what is likely to be years of therapy. Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, rape, and imprisonment.
UPDATE: 4 JUNE 2011
Jaycee Dugard Kidnapper Sentenced To 143 Years In Prison
Nearly 20 years after abducting an 11-year-old girl from her street in South Lake Tahoe, Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced for their crimes.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991, and held captive for 18 years before she was discovered. The couple pleaded guilty in April.
Dugard’s aunt and mother read impact statements during Thursday’s sentencing hearing. Jaycee’s statement explained why she herself did not attend, “I chose not to be here because I don’t want to waste another second in your presence”.
Nancy’s attorney, Stephen Tapson said Jaycee’s mom and aunt read a statement from Jaycee and her sister, who was only a young child when Jaycee was kidnapped. In the statement Dugard’s family called the Garrido’s some “awful things”.
According to Tapson, Nancy’s statement to the court and Dugard was remorseful, “Every time I look in the mirror I don’t like what I see … I can give you an explanation but they will sound like an excuse, and there is no excuse … “ for what she did. Tapson repeated Nancy’s position during the captivity as a mother-figure to Dugard; delivering her children and caring for them. Nancy was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.
Phillip was sentenced to 431 years to life. He was eligible for around 590 years, but the judge decided to stay within the plea deal and sentenced Phillip to 431. During the nearly hour-long proceeding, the judge said Garrido was the “poster child for sexual predator” and he “redefined the word ‘slavery’”.
His lawyer, Susan Gellman said Phillip never, ever wanted to go to trial, “he did what he did today for her (Dugard),you know, he entered this plea for her so she wouldn’t have to go through a trial.” Gellman went on to say “He (Phillip) acknowledged his guilt, he admitted what he did was wrong, of course there is remorse.”
Phillip had a competency hearing earlier in the proceedings. Gellman said “Phillip never ever, ever wanted to go to trial. The only confusion he had, he had confusion about who witnesses would be and what the trial would be about, and that’s what the competency hearing was about. But he never wanted to go to trial.”
Katie Callaway Hall, who was raped Phillip Garrido in Reno in the 1970’s, attended Thursday’s sentencing. She did not attend the sentencing for her own case, where Phillip got sentenced to life. He only served 11 years of that sentence.
Hall was hoping to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing on the Dugard charges, but the El Dorado County Judge recently decided not to let her make a statement. She told the media outside the courtroom she hopes Phillip “rots in hell”.
Attorneys for Phillip and Nancy arrived at the El Dorado County courthouse in Placerville Thursday morning. Susan Gellman, who represents Phillip Garrido, shouted at the waiting media as she passed by, “My fifteen minutes are over people”; a reference to the intense media coverage this case has gotten.
Phillip Garrido was arrested for an unrelated crime in August 2009 in Berkeley. After more digging by detectives, Jaycee told officers who she was and that she had been kidnapped.
An investigation uncovered deplorable living conditions at the Garrido’s Antioch home, and a tent-room in the backyard where Jaycee and her two daughters were living. Investigators say the two daughters were fathered by Garrido.
Dugard was reunited with her family, and plans to release a biography of her experience later this summer called “A Stolen Life”on July 12.