August 27, 2009

An Amazing Story

An 11 year old girl was abducted from South Lake Tahoe back in 1991 turns up alive. I remember this story back from when it happened. It's still hard to believe. Turns out the people who abducted her, held her as a virtual prisoner and abused her. She fathered two children with her abductor.

Article here

Abductee had two children with captor, authorities say

Jaycee Dugard, now 29, was kidnapped near Lake Tahoe in 1991. A sex offender and his wife have been arrested. The victim reportedly spent most of her time in a secret backyard in the Bay Area.

A 58-year-old registered sex offender and his wife have been arrested in the bizarre and nearly two-decade-old kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl who surfaced in the Bay Area this week after state authorities encountered her alleged captor during a separate investigation, authorities said.

Phillip Garrido, a convicted rapist, and his wife, Nancy Garrido, of Antioch were arrested Wednesday night in connection with the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, now 29, El Dorado County sheriff's officials said during an afternoon news conference. Dugard is believed to have borne two children with Garrido while held captive.

She was kidnapped 18 years ago near her home in Meyers, just south of Lake Tahoe, and had not been seen since.

Officers found a hidden backyard outside the suspects' home in Antioch, northeast of Oakland, with tents, sheds and outhouses where Dugard and her two daughters spent most of their lives, authorities said.

Dugard's mother, Terry Probyn, has been in contact with her daughter, said Lt. Les Lovell of the Sheriff's Department. "They have discussed things that only the two of them would know," Lovell said. "We are about 99% sure the woman is her."

Lovell was one of the original investigators assigned to the Dugard case.

"It's a great feeling that she is alive," he said. "We followed up on hundreds, if not thousands, of leads. And out of the blue, this one came to us yesterday."

Dugard was 11 when she was abducted June 10, 1991, as she walked to a bus stop on a quiet cul-de-sac in Meyers, in El Dorado County, authorities said.

As Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, watched from the family garage 200 yards away, a late-model gray car -- with a man and a second person, believed to be a woman, inside -- stopped abruptly in front of the girl, authorities said at the time. Jaycee was swept into the sedan.

Probyn gave chase on a bicycle but the car sped off.

Despite a massive search, local outrage and being featured on the "America's Most Wanted" television program, Jaycee was not found. Investigators were unable to identify a suspect.

Authorities got their big break in the case Tuesday when Phillip Garrido was seen with two small children near UC Berkeley. After an encounter with campus police, he was reported to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Scott Kernan, undersecretary of adult operations with the department.

On Wednesday, Garrido was taken in for questioning at the department's parole office in Concord, near Berkeley, Kernan said. He was accompanied by two children and two women, later identified as Dugard and his wife.

After being questioned by parole officers, Garrido revealed that he had kidnapped a female, now an adult, who was later identified as Dugard, authorities said.

Garrido was paroled from a Nevada state prison in 1999, authorities said. He has served time in federal custody and in Nevada for sexual assault, rape and kidnapping.

News that Dugard was found brought Carl Probyn to tears Thursday. "It's a miracle that we got her back," Probyn said from his home in Orange County.

Probyn said he was shocked when she was abducted. He said he looked out and saw Jaycee get pulled into the moving car. He jumped on his mountain bike and tried to catch up, but the car sped away. "It was just total shock," he recalled Thursday. "It happened in about 30 seconds."

On Wednesday, Probyn got a call from his wife, Terry Probyn, who said that Dugard had been found and that she was alive. The couple cried.

Probyn said Dugard's kidnapping took a toll on the family. Terry Probyn couldn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays for years. The couple eventually separated about eight years after Dugard's disappearance.

It ended their marriage, he said. "Terry was close to her. It's like having your heart ripped out."

Probyn was questioned several times by FBI officials, he said. The ordeal has been extremely painful for Probyn, who married Terry, a single mother, when Dugard was 7.

"I've never spent a day of my life in jail," Probyn said. "If I did this and got away with it, I'm some kind of genius."

Terry Probyn now lives in Riverside County and flew to Northern California Wednesday to be with her daughter.

Posted by Valkyre at August 27, 2009 10:34 PM