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'She could have been free three years ago: Police confess their shocking mistakes over sex-slave Jay


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'She could have been free three years ago: Police confess their shocking mistakes over sex-slave Jaycee



By David Gardner and Nicola Boden

Last updated at 9:01 PM on 28th August 2009





  • Sex offender has two children with girl he abducted aged 11
  • Jaycee Lee Dugard discovered alive and well after 18-year ordeal
  • Now 29, she feels 'guilty' about relationship with abductor
  • Incredible jail boasts of captor who says having children changed his life
  • Family were forced to live in hidden compound of sheds and tents

The woman who was kidnapped as a child, held hostage and forced to father two children by her captor could have been freed three years ago, police have confessed.

In a press conference in Sacramento tonight, police admitted that they received a 911 emergency call in 2006 informing them that convicted rapist Phillip Garrido had tents in his backyard with children who appeared to be living in them.

However the deputy sheriff who took the call did not know that Garrido was a sexual predator - and the chance to set Miss Duggard and her two children free slipped by.

Miss Dugard, now 29, is struggling to cope with the fact she bonded with Garrido during her 18 years as his sex slave.


Despite her horrific ordeal, relatives say she also still looks very much like the freckle-faced, blue-eyed 11-year-old who was snatched from outside her Californian home in 1991.



article-1209488-06361B35000005DC-564_634x368.jpg Left: Jaycee Dugard as a child. Right: A police mock-up from four years ago of how she might look as an adult

Stepfather Carl Probyn, who for almost two decades was considered by some to be a suspect in her disappearance, said his wife has told him she scarcely looks much older.


'She looks almost how she looked when she was kidnapped. She looks very young. She doesn't look 29 at all,' he told ABC.


But although Miss Dugard and her two children appear remarkably fit and healthy, she is finding it difficult to come to terms with her time as Garrido's mistress.


'Jaycee feels really guilty for bonding with this man. There's really a guilty trip here,' stepfather Carl Probyn said.

Miss Dugard had an emotional reunion with her mother - now estranged from her husband - last night but Mr Probyn has yet to meet up with her and his grandchildren.

The last time he saw her was the horrific moment she was bundled into a grey car while walking to the bus near their home in Lake Tahoe, near San Francisco.


Her case became one of the most notorious missing persons inquiries in the U.S. and America was stunned when she emerged alive and well this week.


article-1209488-06362F6A000005DC-573_306x423.jpg Phillip Garrido is charged with kidnap, rape, conspiracy and committing lewd acts with a minor


Details of how she was renamed Allissa and forced to live in a secret compound in Garrido's back garden in Antioch, 170 miles from where she vanished, emerged today.


For the first three years, she lived in a single shed in a second backyard of the rambling property - which Garrido shared with his wife and mother.


His hostage became a mother at the age of 14 and then had a second daughter four years later, forcing the sex offender to expand the makeshift complex.

Her children were born on the property and had never been to school or seen a doctor. Garrido claimed from his jail cell that they had not been able to afford proper medical care.

He is in custody charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, rape and committing lewd acts with a minor. His wife Nancy, 55, was charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.


Police said Mrs Garrido's alleged involvement was as an accomplice to the kidnapping. 'She matches the description we have,' Sheriff Fred Kollar said.

The couple are being held in the county jail in Martinez. Authorities said they do not know if Garrido also abused his daughters - now 15 and 11 - but they are investigating.

Garrido's bizarre interview


The 58-year-old was already on life parole for rape and kidnap after being convicted of snatching a 25-year-old woman in Reno in 1971.

In a bizarre, rambling phone interview from prison, he claimed that his life had completely changed after his two children by his hostage were born - apparently a reference to his born-again Christianity.


He boasted: 'Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this house. You're going to be completely impressed.'


He insisted the world would be amazed by his rehabilitation, saying: 'In the end, this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story. My life has been straightened out.'


In the interview with KCRA-TV, recorded last night, he admitted: 'It's a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning.'

But he continued: 'I turned my life completely around... You are 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 heart-warming story.'


He broke down as he added: 'Having those two children - those two girls. They slept in my arms every single night and I never touched them.' He also denied confessing to the abduction.

Garrido said he had left important documents with an FBI agent in San Francisco that would help explain his actions.


Obsessed with religion



People who knew him 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.

He ran a church called God's Desire from the house and is said to have conducted religious revival ceremonies in a tent in the grounds of his home, which had bars on the windows.


A web blog apparently written by Garrido includes bizarre religious ramblings.


One post says: ‘The Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world.’


He claimed he had hired a private investigator to verify his ability to speak to people using only his mind.


An 'affidavit' said he could 'control sound with my mind and have developed a device for others to witness this phenomena'.




article-1209488-06362F6A000005DC-483_634x327.jpg Nancy Garrido, left, and right the sketch of the suspect who snatched Jaycee Dugard back in 1991


Hidden in the garden


Miss Dugard spent part of her time as Garrido's hostage locked in a tiny 10ft by 10ft shed hidden in a secret compound at the back of his home.

The shabby outhouse was soundproofed so neighbours would not hear her and could only be opened from the outside.

She later shared the room, another shed and two small tents, with her two daughters. Power was provided by leads from the house's electricity supply and there was a 'rudimentary' shower and toilet.






Sheriff Fred Kollar said: 'Our search revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard. It had sheds, tents and outbuildings.'


The secret backyard was hidden from neighbours by a 6ft fence and tall trees. Garrido got in and out through a tarpaulin covering the entrance.

Sheriff Kollar said: 'Jaycee was in good health but living in a backyard for 18 years does take its toll.'

He added: 'None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor. They were kept in complete isolation in this compound.'

Incredibly, the grey car used in the abduction back in June 1991 was also found rusted and hidden in the garden.

The revelations have shocking parallels with the case of Austrian Josef Fritzl, who fathered seven children with the daughter he kept prisoner in a cellar at his home.


article-1209488-06360ADC000005DC-18_634x307.jpg Hidden in plain sight: An aerial view of the Garridos' home with the tented complex in fields at the rear



article-1209488-0635B306000005DC-930_634x358.jpg Ramshackle: Jaycee and her two children lived in this series of sheds and tents



Free after 18 years


Miss Dugard was eventually freed after Garrido aroused the suspicions of guards as he tried to give out religious leaflets to students on the Berkeley campus of the University of California.


A campus policeman checked his record and discovered he was a listed sex offender and on parole after serving a jail sentence for a vicious rape and kidnapping in Nevada in 1971.


State police were called and ordered Garrido to check in at his parole office. He arrived there with his wife, 'Allissa' and the two children.

The parole officer was immediately wary because he had never seen the younger woman and the two girls on visits to Garrido's home.


He called police who began questioning Allissa and discovered she was really Miss Dugard.


Emotional reunion


Her parents had given up all hope of finding her and were stunned when the FBI rang to say she had walked into a police station yesterday.

Last night, Miss Dugard had an emotional reunion with her mother Terry, who had been shocked and 'overjoyed' to learn her daughter was alive and well.

The two women 'discussed things that only the two of them would know,' a police official said. They are now staying at a hotel in the area.

Garrido's brother Ron revealed the house in Antioch was in fact their mother's home. She still lives there but has had serious dementia for years, he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Mr Probyn, when asked why he thought the family had not been spotted sooner, said: 'He just knew how to work the system. he had them hidden right.

'Jaycee is a mellow girl. Maybe she didn't try to escape. Maybe he had her convinced that the neighbours were in on everything.


'It's just the right time, right place. He just luckily screwed up by passing those flyers out and drew attention to himself with those two girls next to him. He brought attention to himself after 18 years.'




article-1209488-0636C803000005DC-420_634x413.jpg Hostage: Garrido's house and gardens in Antioch, near San Francisco, where he held Jaycee captive



Enlarge article-1209488-0636C91E000005DC-548_634x286.jpg Complex: Click to enlarge and see how Garrido set up his home and garden to hide his secret family


Criminal record


Garrido moved to the house in the late 80s after serving time for the kidnap and rape of a 25-year-old woman who he snatched from a parking lot in South Lake Tahoe.


He was released on parole in 1988, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Police believe he was trawling for new victims in 1991 when he saw Miss Dugard.

The case raises questions about how closely parolees are monitored and the proximity of Garrido's house and garden to other properties makes it even more incredible he was not caught before.

Sheriff Kollar said a parole officer who had visited Garrido's house previously had not noticed anything amiss because the compound was well concealed by shrubs, garbage cans and a tarp.

It was arranged in such a way 'to isolate the victims from outside contact' and was impossible to spot unless you knew what you are looking for, he said.


'You could walk through the house and never know there was another set of living circumstances out there,' he said. The sheds and tents were all well below the six ft fence, he added.

'There was no attempt by Jaycee to outreach to anybody in all the time she was held captive,' he said. 'For all we know, they never left the location.'


Stunned: Jaycee's stepfather Carl Probyn, 60, who had given up all hope of her being found alive

Neighbours' suspicions


But neighbours said there were clues because they had seen the tents and children playing in the backyard and it appears Garrido was secure enough to travel around with his daughters.


Diane Doty said she suspected children were living there but her husband had advised her to leave the family alone. 'I asked my husband "Why is he living in tents?" And he said, 'Maybe that is how they like to live.'

Tim Allen from Pittsburg, who bought products from Garrido's printing business over the last 10 years, said he had seen him three times in recent years with two 'cute little blond girls'.


Mr Allen said he had no idea about the man's criminal record: 'We never thought anything bad about the guy. He was just kind of nutty.'


'In the last couple years he started getting into this strange religious stuff. We kind of felt sorry for him. He rambled. It made no sense.'


He had recently been talking about quitting printing and preaching full time and gave the impression he was setting up a church, Mr Allen said.


Haydee Perry, 35, who lived next door, said he helped her jump-start her car a month ago and had a young girl clinging to him oddly.


The girl told Perry that Garrido was her father and that she had older sisters, including one who was 28 - one year younger than Jaycee Dugard is now.


'She stayed close to him at all times,' Perry said of the girl. 'It wasn't normal behavior. She had a blank stare on her face. Now it seems like a cry out for help.'


Perry said Garrido told her he home-schooled girls in his house and that they did not swear or watch TV.


'I just thought he was weird,' Perry said. 'You have children and they're never outside, and you have bars on your windows.'


article-1209488-0635850D000005DC-200_634x357.jpg Snatched: The spot in South Lake Tahoe, Calilfornia, where Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped back in 1991


Swoop: The car allegedly used to snatch Jaycee 18 years ago has been outside the Garridos' house

Family's joy


Miss Dugard had been just 11 when she was seen being dragged screaming and kicking into a car near her school in South Lake Tahoe, California.


She was last seen walking to a bus stop at 8:15am. As she walked, a grey sedan was seen making a U-turn in the street.


The car approached Jaycee and a woman described as about 30 years old with long, dark hair pulled her inside. A man was also seen in the car.

Despite a blaze of publicity and a major hunt for the couple, nothing was heard from her until she reappeared 200 miles away.

Mr Probyn said: 'I had personally given up all hope. I had just hoped for a recovery [of a body] and to find the people responsible - now I've actually won the lotto!'


He revealed that the nightmare had torn his family apart. He and Jaycee's mother have been separated for ten years, partly due to the stresses of the case, but have remained in contact.

‘I've gone through hell,’ said Mr Probyn, noting that investigators and even members of the extended family looked at him suspiciously for months afterward.

The stepfather described how he saw his daughter being snatched. 'I saw them pull her in and I tried to get her,' he said.


Desperate: Jaycee's mother Terry appealing for her safe return soon after she went missing



Mr Probyn said he heard his stepdaughter had been found in a call from his wife saying she had been contacted by the FBI.



He said the first phone conversation between mother and daughter had been 'kind of short and sweet' but his wife said Miss Dugard remembers everything.

He was appalled that his stepdaughter had been forced to have Garrido's children: 'This man is probably in a cult, He is sick. I am shocked, outraged and devastated this has happened to Jaycee.'


Hope for McCanns


Miss Dugard's discovery brings fresh hope for the parents of Madeleine McCann, as proof that missing children do sometimes turn up safe years later.


Kate and Gerry McCann have refused to give up searching for daughter, who vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.


The couple said today: 'Once again this shows that children can sometimes disappear off the radar only to be found years later alive.

'It emphasises that we should never assume that someone is not alive without any evidence to support this. We should never give up

'This case only makes us more determined to find Madeleine. She is out there somewhere and somebody knows where.'

My brother the 'fruitcake'


Garrido's older brother Ron, 65, says he always knew he was deeply troubled but is still shocked at the latest twist in his life.


'It just seems so bizarre, but I can believe it. I know my brother, and I can believe he did that. ... He's a fruitcake. My thoughts are with the poor little girl.'


On his release after his conviction in the 70s, Garrido moved into his mother's home in Antioch where Miss Dugard and her two children were found this week.


Ron said today that their mother Pat still lives there but has suffered from major dementia for around eight years.


'My brother could do no wrong in my mother's eyes. I'm sure he told her some story and she bought the whole thing,' he said.


Garrido never spoke of Miss Dugard, his brother told the San Francisco Chronicle, and he remembers just one suspicious moment.


In 2007, Garrido visited an aunt and had two young girls with him. He claimed he was babysitting them for a neighbour but his relative was unconvinced.


'My aunt told me "I swear that oldest girl is his daughter. She's got his eyes", Ron recalled.


He last saw his brother a funeral a few weeks ago, when he was acting strangely and pacing by his car. 'Crazy, crazy, crazy,' Ron said. 'There's no word to describe this. It's just out there.'

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Okay, top THIS:






Texas admits it executed the man in this picture, even though he was innocent. They claimed he started the house fire that killed his wife and child, but it was actually started by an electrical outlet.


This deserves a "Great Job!" sticker:



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Okay, top THIS:






Texas admits it executed the man in this picture, even though he was innocent. They claimed he started the house fire that killed his wife and child, but it was actually started by an electrical outlet.


This deserves a "Great Job!" sticker:




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