The Case of Jaycee Lee Dugard

Background and Current Developments

Jaycee Lee Dugard
Phillip Garrido and his wife shortly after their arrest on August 27, 2009 in Placerville, California. Phillip Garrido, a convicted rapist, and his wife Nancy reportedly admitted to kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 when she was 11 and holding her captive for the past 18 years. Garrido reportedly raped her for years and fathered two children with her. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

For years, she smiled from her FBI missing child poster, one of those children that had been missing so long no one expected her to ever be found alive. But Jaycee Lee Dugard turned up on August 27, 2009, at a California police station 18 years after being abducted.

According to authorities, Jaycee Dugard was held in captivity for 18 years, by a convicted sex offender who kept her in his backyard compound sheltered in tents, sheds and outbuildings in Antioch, California.

Police arrested 58-year-old Phillip Garrido, who police said kept Dugard as a virtual slave and fathered two children by her. The children were ages 11 and 15 at the time that Dugard was resurfaced.

Kidnapping, Rape Charges Filed

Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido, were charged with conspiracy and kidnapping. Garrido was also charged with rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and sexual penetration.

Garrido was on parole from a Nevada state prison on a conviction of rape by force or fear. He was paroled in 1999.

Dugard's ordeal began to come to an end after California parole officials received a report that Garrido was seen with two young children. They called him in for questioning, but then sent him home with instructions to return the following day.

The following day, Garrido returned with his wife, Nancy, and Jaycee Dugard, who was going by the name "Allissa" and the two children. After separating Garrido from his group so that he could interview Jaycee. During the interview, Jaycee attempted to protect Garrido when the investigator asked if she knew he was a sex offender, but as the interview went on, Jaycee became visibly agitated and made up another story about being an abused wife hiding from her husband in the Garrido home.

As the interviews became more intensive, Jaycee began to show signs of Stockholm Syndrome and became angry and demanded why she was being interrogated. Finally, Phillip Garrido broke down and told the investigators that he had kidnapped and rape Jaycee Dugas. It was only after his confession that Jaycee told the investigators her true identity.

"None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor," El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation in this compound, if you will. There was electricity from electrical cords, rudimentary outhouse, rudimentary shower, as if you were camping."

It is also where Jaycee Dugard gave birth to her two children.

Reunited With Mother

Authorities said Dugard appeared to be in good health when she arrived at a San Francisco Bay area police station where she was reunited with her mother, who was "overjoyed" to find her daughter alive.

Also welcoming the news was Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, the last person to see her before she disappeared and a longtime suspect in the case.

"It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," Probyn told The Associated Press at his home in Orange, California.

The Tented Compound

Investigators searched the home and property where Jaycee Lee Dugard was held captive and expanded their search to an adjacent property looking for clues in other open cases of missing persons. 

Behind the Garrido home, investigators found an area that looked like a tented compound which is where Jaycee and her children lived. Inside they found a rug spread out in the room with a bed placed on top of it. On the bed there were several high piles of clothing and boxes. 

Another tented area also contained clothing, pictures, books, plastic storage containers and various toys strewn around. There were no modern conveniences except for electrical lighting.

Mix of Emotions

Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded not guilty to 29 counts, including forcible abduction, rape and false imprisonment.

When the Garridos were arrested, Jaycee experienced mixed emotions, but with counseling and medical care for herself and her children, she began to understand the terrible things that were done to her.

Her attorney McGregor Scott said that she was fully cooperating with the investigation because she understood that the Garridos needed to be held accountable for their crimes.

A Request to Talk

Six months after their arrests, Phillip and Nancy Garrido filed motions that would allow them to visit each other in jail.

"What I'm saying is they raised these kids as their kids, and whatever decision they make with how they are going to proceed in this case, whether they go to trial or don't go to trial, is going to affect these kids," Deputy Public Defender Susan Gellman told the court.

According to the court papers, Phillip Garrido stopped having sex with Dugard around the time that she gave birth to her second child. Afterwards, all five "held themselves out to be a family" taking vacations and running a family business together.

Attorneys for the Garridos also filed motions asking the prosecution to tell them where Jaycee Dugard is living now and the name of her attorney so that they can contact her prior to the trial.

They also asked that taped interviews conducted by investigators of Jaycee and her two daughters be turned over to the defense.

Judge Douglas C. Phimister ruled that the request to each other during two five-minute telephone calls was not an unreasonable and that he would allow it.

Jaycee Dugard Offered $20 Million Settlement

In July 2010, Jaycee was offered a $20 million lawsuit settlement by the State of California after it was determined that Phillip Garrido was supposed to be under parole supervision during much of the time that he was holding Jaycee captive.

In February 2010, Jaycee and her daughters, 15 and 12, filed claims against the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation claiming the agency failed to do its job in properly supervising Garrido.

Although Garrido was under parole supervision from 1999 until his arrest in August 2009, parole officers never discovered the existence of Jaycee and her two daughters. The lawsuit also claimed psychological, physical and emotional damage.

Years of Therapy

The settlement was mediated by retired San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Daniel Weinstein.

"The money will be used to buy the family a home, ensure privacy, pay for education, replace lost income and cover what will likely be years of therapy," Weinstein told reporters.

Garridos Plead Guilty

On April 28, 2011, the Garridos entered guilty pleas for kidnapping and rape. The plea deal spared Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters from testifying against Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

Under the plea deals accepted in a hastily arranged court hearing, Phillip Garridos was to receive a sentence of 431 years to life. Nancy Garridos, however, was to be sentenced to 25 years to life, plus another 11 years. She would be eligible for parole in 31 years.

Until both defendants entered unexpected not guilty pleas on April 7, the best deal offered to Nancy Garrido was 241 years to life.

Official Sentencing

On June 3, 2011, the Garridos were officially sentenced. The couple made no eye contact with anyone and kept their heads down as Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, read a statement to them from her daughter. Jaycee did not attend the sentencing.

 " I chose not to be here today because I refuse to waste another second of my life in your presence. I've chosen to have my mom read this for me. Phillip Garrido, you are wrong. I could never say that to you before, but I have the freedom now and I am saying you are a liar and all of your so-called theories are wrong. Everything you have ever done to me has been wrong and someday I hope you can see that.

What you and Nancy did was reprehensible. You always justified everything to suit yourself but the reality is and always has been that to make someone else suffer for your inability to control yourself and for you, Nancy, to facilitate his behavior and trick young girls for his pleasure is evil. There is no God in the universe that would condone your actions.

To you, Phillip, I say that I have always been a thing for your own amusement. I hated every second of every day of 18 years because of you and the sexual perversion you forced on me. To you, Nancy, I have nothing to say. Both of you can save your apologies and empty words. For all the crimes you have both committed I hope you have as many sleepless nights as I did. Yes, as I think of all of those years I am angry because you stole my life and that of my family. Thankfully I am doing well now and no longer live in a nightmare. I have wonderful friends and family around me. Something you can never take from me again.

You do not matter any more."

    —Jaycee Lee Dugard, June 2, 2011