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Kidnap girl found alive after 18yrs

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX MISSING NEWS AUG 2009
Original Source: SUN: FRIDAY 28 AUGUST 2009
From DAVID WILLETTS in Los Angeles
and ANTONELLA LAZZERI Published: Today
 

A WOMAN kidnapped when she was a schoolgirl 18 years ago has turned up alive and well, it was revealed last night.

Jaycee Lee Dugard, 29, "miraculously" walked into a police station in the US.

She had been given up for dead after being snatched outside her home in California aged just 11.

In a chilling echo of the Josef Fritzl case in Austria it also emerged that she had two children by her abductor Phillip Garrido.

The vile kidnapper today sensationally claimed his was "the most powerful, heart-warming story" in a rambling radio interview.

See more shocking pictures in our slideshow below

The monster claimed his life had been "straightened out" and implored people to wait until they hear the whole story of what happened at his home.

He said: "You're going to find the most powerful story coming from the witness, the victim - you wait.

"You are going to be completely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning. But if you take this a step at a time, you're going to fall over backwards and in the end, you're going to find the most powerful, heart warming story."

Garrido broke down as he said: "Having those two children - those two girls. They slept in my arms every single night and I never touched them."

He also denied confessing to the kidnap.

Bizarrely, he claimed he had lodged documents with the FBI in San Francisco that would prove his story - but that he could not reveal his explanation for what happened with Jaycee until he had consulted lawyers.

She and her kids were forced to live in sheds and tents in his back garden in Antioch, California, the entire time.

The two sheds - which measured 10ft x 10ft - were hidden from view down a narrow garden passageway by tall fencing.

One was equipped with electricity and basic showering facilities. It had been sound-proofed to stop neighbours hearing Jaycee's cries for help and could only be opened from outside.

Jaycee's children are girls aged 15 and 11. She gave birth to the first when aged just 14.

They lived in total isolation in the compound and never went to school or once saw a doctor.

Cops said Jaycee had changed her name to Allissa and had been held captive by convicted child rapist Garrido, 58, and his wife Nancy, 55.

 

Religious

 

The search for missing Jaycee had held America's imagination in the same way Maddie McCann's disappearance in Portugal in 2007 days before her fourth birthday has done here.

Last night it emerged that Jaycee walked into a police station in Concord, 130 miles from her old home accompanied by the Garridos and her children.

Parole officers revealed that during questioning Garrido confirmed Jaycee's identity and admitted kidnap. He and his wife were arrested.

The couple reportedly run a religious-themed blog called Voices Revealed.

El Dorado County Sheriff Fred Kollar revealed: "The two children turned out to be the children of Jaycee and the male suspect Garrido.

 

"They, along with Nancy Garrido, were living together at the house in Antioch since the kidnapping. A search of the residence revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard.

"There was a vehicle hidden in the yard that matched that originally described at the time of the abduction."

He said of Jaycee: "Living in a backyard for so many years has taken its toll, but she's in good health."

Jaycee's mum Terry and half-sister Shayna, 19, have been reunited with her.

Her stepdad Carl Probyn revealed: "Jaycee told her mother: 'Mum I've got a baby.'

"Terry said: 'How many?' And Jaycee said: 'I've got two, they are 15 and 11'. I don't know whether Jaycee is still 11 in her mind. I mean, who calls a 15- year-old and an 11 year-old babies?".

Jaycee had last been seen on June 10, 1991 when she was dragged into a car as she walked to a bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe.

Stepdad Carl heard her screams and saw a man and woman drive his daughter away. He gave chase on a bicycle but could not catch up. Just a few years ago a photofit was released showing how Jaycee might look at 25.

Carl, 60 - who has split from Terry - was at one stage regarded as a suspect and took four lie detector tests while protesting his innocence.

Last night he said: "To have this happen, where Jaycee walks into a police station, is a miracle."

He added: "I want everybody involved in this to go down hard after the c**p they put us through." The shocking events were only uncovered this week when Garrido was caught trying to gain access to the campus of the University of Berkeley.

Campus police called state cops who instructed Garrido to check in with his parole office.

He arrived there with wife Nancy, Allissa and the two children. But the parole office became suspicious and alerted police.

Sheriff Kollar added: "The parole agent had never seen Allissa and the two young children during visits to the house and thought the fact they were in Garrido's company suspicious."

People who knew Garrido said he became increasingly fanatic about his religious beliefs, sometimes breaking into song and claiming that God spoke to him through a box.

Garrido registered a corporation called God's Desire at his home address and gave the impression he was setting up a church

Cops have now cordoned off Garrido's home.

He was convicted of crimes in 1971 involving rape and kidnap.

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann said today that the reappearance of child kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard 18 years after she disappeared "only makes us more determined" to find their daughter.

 

Jaycee was abducted at the age of 11 from her home in California in 1991 but has now been reunited with her mother after walking into a police station with her alleged captor and the two children he fathered by her.

 

Kate and Gerry McCann said today: "Once again this shows that children can sometimes disappear off the radar only to be found years later alive.

 

"It emphasises that we should never assume that someone is not alive without any evidence to support this. We should never give up.

 

"This case only makes us more determined to find Madeleine. She is out there somewhere and somebody knows where."

 

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