Tina Dugard, aunt of recovered kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard, holds photo of her niece as a child as she read a statement at an FBI office in Los Angeles.

Tina Dugard, aunt of recovered kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard, held photo of her niece as a child as she read a statement at a Los Angeles FBI office. (Jae C. Hong / AP Photo)

By Frank James

When many of us first heard that Jaycee Lee Dugard was discovered, 18 years after her kidnapping, with the two daughters she had by her alleged abductor, and after living in flimsy backyard shelters, we asked what were she and her children like? Were they like members of some previously unknown primitive tribe?

In the days since her discovery, it's become clear that Dugard, now 29, was more connected to the outside world than we at first assumed. People who had visited the home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido, her alleged kidnappers, as customers of their printing business, and who saw Dugard apparently didn't find her appearance alarming.

Today we got a little more information, this time from Tina Dugard, the newly freed woman's aunt, who told reporters at a Federal Bureau of Investigation officer in Los Angeles, that Dugard's children seem surprisingly with it, considering their lives to date.

According to an Associated Press story:

Tina Dugard said her niece's daughters, ages 11 and 15, appeared to be bright and educated, even though they did not attend school.
"Jaycee did a truly amazing job with the limited resources and education that she herself had, and we are so proud of her," Dugard said.
The family's location has been a closely guarded secret since the 29-year-old woman reappeared last week. She was 11 when she was allegedly kidnapped.
Tina Dugard said the family has been spending time "in a secluded place," reconnecting and getting to know each other again.
"Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we've spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company," Dugard said.

Meanwhile, a woman who was abducted and raped by Garrido in 1976 said he deserves the death penalty.

Another AP excerpt:

Katherine Callaway Hall said in a telephone interview Thursday from New York City that federal and state prison terms Garrido served for attacking her in Reno only made him a smarter criminal.
She says, "Don't let this happen to anyone else."
Hall was 26 at the time. She's 57 now. She calls Garrido a dangerous liar and says authorities shouldn't ever let him out of prison.

It's extremely unlikely Garrido will ever see the outside of a cell again, whether he were to receive the death penalty or not.

categories: Crime

4:51 - September 3, 2009