Girl Kidnapped In 1991 Resurfaces
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
An extraordinary story is emerging from Northern California. A 29-year-old woman turned up yesterday and told authorities she was kidnapped 18 years ago. This afternoon, the El Dorado Sheriff's Office held a news conference to confirm that the woman is, indeed, Jaycee Lee Dugard, abducted as a blond-haired, pony-tailed 11-year-old in 1991 from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe.
Undersheriff Fred Kollar also said police have arrested a man and a woman in connection with the case.
Undersheriff FRED KOLLAR (El Dorado County): All I can share with you - all that I have is during interviews with the three of them - the two suspects and Jaycee - sufficient information was determined from all three of them that Jaycee was who she was purported to be, and that these two people only had information that the kidnappers could've known.
BLOCK: Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio was at the news conference. He joins us now. And Ben, walk us through the sequence of events that led up to this revelation, please.
BEN ADLER: Hi, Melissa. On Tuesday, the suspect, Phillip Garrido, was on the UC Berkeley campus. He had two girls with him; they were ages 11 and 15. And a Cal police officer thought the way they interacted was suspicious, so the officer confronted him, ran a background check, and it turned out Garrido was on parole for federal rape and kidnapping charges.
The Cal officer contacted the parole office, and that led to Garrido visiting the state parole office yesterday. And when he showed up, he not only brought with him the two girls, he also brought with him a woman who identified herself as Alissa. And the parole officer had never seen Alissa or the two girls before. He was suspicious. So he contacted the local police. And as we heard in interviews, authorities determined that Alissa was, in fact, Jaycee Dugard.
BLOCK: Now, two people arrested in this case - one of them Phillip Garrido, whom you've mentioned.
ADLER: Yeah. The other: Nancy Garrido. They apparently live together. Authorities say they were the kidnappers because they had information that only they could know. Nancy also matched the description of the woman in the car at the time of the kidnapping. And the vehicle that matched the abduction vehicle was found in the backyard.
And speaking of that backyard, it was really quite an extraordinary discovery that authorities made. It was a hidden backyard. It was kind of disguised behind a fence and some tarp. Neither of the adjacent houses could see it. And there were two sheds back there - like, about 10-by-10 feet and 6 feet tall. And just terrible conditions.
The Garridos are both now in custody. A criminal complaint is going to be filed tomorrow by noon at El Dorado County Superior Court. And at that point, we'll know what the charges will be.
BLOCK: What did authorities say about what they've learned of Jaycee Dugard's life over the last 18 years since she was kidnapped?
ADLER: Well, it was terrible. Apparently, she and the two younger girls lived in sheds and tents. There was electricity. There was like, a rudimentary outhouse and shower like if you were camping. But that's about it. They weren't allowed out. No school, no doctor visits.
And what's more, authorities say the two young girls are apparently Jaycee's daughters, whom she had along with Phillip Garrido. And if that's true, Jaycee would've given birth to the older child when she was just 14 years old.
BLOCK: Any word today from Jaycee Dugard's family?
ADLER: The stepfather talked to a couple of papers. He said he and Jaycee's mom - they're now separated - they're obviously both very relieved, absolutely shocked. And he told one paper that the two cried for about two minutes on the phone.
BLOCK: Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio, speaking with us from El Dorado County in Northern California. Ben, thank you very much.
ADLER: You're welcome.
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