Girl who went missing 18 years ago found in California
Jaycee Lee Dugard, the woman found alive almost two decades after being kidnapped, feels terrible guilt for forming an emotional attachment with her suspected captor, her stepfather said today.
Phillip Garrido, 58, is accused of kidnapping Dugard when she was 11 years old in 1991 and detaining her for nearly two decades in a hidden backyard compound of tents, outbuildings and a shed behind his home on Walnut Avenue in Antioch, in the Bay area of San Francisco.
Investigators said Garrido, a convicted sex offender, raped Dugard and fathered two children with her – the first when she was about 14. Those girls, now 11 and 15, were detained along with their mother.
Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, told ABC television that she was "doing well" following her release, and had been playing with her younger sister.
He said: "My wife says that Jaycee looks good. She looks almost like when she was kidnapped. She looks very young. She doesn't look 29 at all."
But Probyn, 60, who witnessed her abduction and was a longtime suspect in the case, said the family had been troubled to learn the details of her ordeal.
"She feels really guilty for bonding with this man. There's really a guilt trip here," he said.
Probyn said the abduction had "ruined" the lives of everyone in the family. "It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," he said.
As Jaycee was reunited with her family, more details emerged of the man alleged to have kidnapped her. Garrido, who was being held in connection with various kidnappings and sex charges, was revealed as a religious fanatic who believes he hears the voice of God.
On a blog that appears to have been maintained by Garrido, he says "the Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels".
The blog also says that he had hired a private investigator to verify his ability to speak to people using telepathy. The blog post claims he has the ability to "control sound with my mind and have developed a device for others to witness this phenomena".
In a rambling, sometimes incoherent, phone interview with Sacramento television station KCRA 3 last night, Garrido urged people not to judge him until they heard more details of the case.
He said that 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.
"You're going to find the most powerful story coming from the witness, the victim – you wait. 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, heartwarming story," he told KCRA 3.
"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.
The extraordinary case came to light when Garrido was picked up on Tuesday with two children as he tried to enter the University of California campus in Berkeley to hand out religious literature. The officers said he was acting suspiciously towards the children. After questioning and a background check, they discovered he was on parole and informed his parole officer.
He was ordered to appear for a parole meeting and arrived on Wednesday with Dugard, his wife and two children. During questioning, officials said he admitted kidnapping Dugard. Garrido was charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, rape and committing lewd acts with a minor, according to the records. His wife, Nancy Garrido, 55, is accused of kidnapping and conspiracy. Both are being held on $1m (£614,500) bail.
Officials said Garrido had spent time in jail in Nevada after4 kidnapping and rape convictions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s and was paroled after one stint in 1988 and another in June 1999. It was not immediately clear where Dugard was while Garrido was in custody.
Neighbours and even some of his own family considered Garrido strange as he told them about his messages from God and kept the females at his house from contact with outsiders.
Erika Pratt, 25, who stayed next door two years ago, said she was "freaked out" by Garrido's behaviour, and when she popped her head over the fence she saw his secret compound. There were tents, sheds and pitbull terriers, she said, and water hoses leading from her house next door.
"He had little girls and women living in that backyard, and they all looked kind of the same," Pratt told the San Francisco Chronicle. "They never talked, and they kept to themselves."
Pratt said that people came and went from the property, but the core group consisted of two girls about four years old, one girl about 11, another girl about 15 and a young woman about 25. They were all blonde, she said.
Pratt said she had called Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies to investigate, but that officers "told me they couldn't go inside because they didn't have a warrant".
People who knew Garrido said he had become increasingly fanatical 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 businessman Tim Allen, who bought business cards and letterheads from Garrido's printing business.
Three times in recent years, Garrido arrived at Allen's showroom with two "cute little blonde girls" in tow, he told KCRA 3. 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.
Garrido would talk about holding events at UC Berkeley and mentioned the names of important people as if he knew them. Allen said he had no inkling of Garrido's criminal record.
"We never thought anything bad about the guy," Allen said. "He was just kind of nutty."
source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/
FBI Kidnapping Investigation Page : http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/dugard.htm