After 18 Years, Kidnapping Victim Found Alive California authorities say a convicted sex offender is suspected of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl in 1991, and holding her captive in a backyard compound. Jaycee Lee Dugard is now 29 years old, and her two suspected captors are in custody in California.
NPR logo

After 18 Years, Kidnapping Victim Found Alive

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/112323681/112323693" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
After 18 Years, Kidnapping Victim Found Alive

After 18 Years, Kidnapping Victim Found Alive

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/112323681/112323693" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A 29-year-old California woman is free after being held captive since she was a child. Her two suspected captors are in custody. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler has more.

BEN ADLER: Jaycee Dugard was snatched into a car near her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, when she was 11 years old. And authorities say she spent the next 18 years of her life as a prisoner in her captors' secret backyard compound. Here's El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar speaking yester.

Mr. FRED KOLLAR (Undersheriff, El Dorado County): You could walk through the backyard, walk through the house, and never know that there was another set of living circumstances in that backyard.

ADLER: Registered sex offender Phillip Garrido spent time in federal prison for rape and kidnapping. But no one knew he and his wife Nancy kept Jaycee and two other young girls locked up. Kollar says the 11-year-old and 15-year-old girls are Jaycee's daughters, and Phillip Garrido is their father.

Mr. KOLLAR: None of the children ever gone to school. They'd never been to a doctor. They were kept in complete isolation.

ADLER: Until Tuesday, when Garrido took the two youngest girls out. A police officer thought they acted suspiciously, confronted Garrido, then told his parole agent. When Garrido visited the agent a day later, he brought the two daughters and another woman, who turned out to be Jaycee Dugard.

Mr. KOLLAR: She was in good health, but living in a backyard for the past 18 years does take its toll.

ADLER: As for the Garridos, they're both in custody, awaiting an arraignment later today. From jail, Phillip Garrido told Sacramento's KCRA-TV to wait until the full story comes out. Adding, quote, "You are going to be completely impressed."

For NPR News, I'm Ben Adler in Sacramento.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.