Jaycee Dugard
Photo: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Jaycee Dugard Biography

(1980–)
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Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11 and spent the next 18 years of her life held captive by Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

Who Is Jaycee Lee Dugard?

Jaycee Lee Dugard grew up in the community of South Lake Tahoe, California. On June 10, 1991, when Dugard was 11 years old, she was kidnapped outside of her home. Jaycee's stepfather, Carl Probyn, saw the abduction through his home's garage window and attempted to chase the car down on his bicycle but was outrun.

Probyn immediately called local authorities, who were aided by the FBI in their search for Dugard. The search included dogs, aircraft and hundreds of law enforcement personnel, but to no avail; Dugard wasn't found. She would eventually be discovered living with Phillip and Nancy Garrido 170 miles away, in Antioch, California. 

The Kidnapping

Her captor, convicted rapist Phillip Garrido, raped Dugard repeatedly, fed her countless lies and impregnated her twice (she gave birth to daughters at ages 14 and 17). Jaycee spent 18 years in captivity, living in a backyard shack at the home of Garrido and his wife, Nancy. 

Dugard was locked in a makeshift recording studio by convicted rapist Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, in the backyard of their home. Renamed "Allissa," Dugard soon realized the major motive for her abduction: She was raped repeatedly by Phillip, which resulted in two pregnancies. At age 14, Jaycee gave birth to her first child, a daughter; three years later, at age 17, she gave birth to a second daughter.

Dugard spent more than 18 years in captivity with the Garridos, who fed her countless lies and largely prohibited her contact with the outside world. During that time, she wrote in a journal frequently, documenting deep depression, fear, loneliness and feelings of being "unloved." She constantly wondered about her family members and whether they were searching for her, but over time — and cut off from any relationships outside of the Garrido home — the severely depressed victim grew to cherish any human interaction, even that from her kidnappers. Dugard didn't know how to leave, and after years of lies from her captors about her family's lack of love for her, she wasn't even sure whether she had anyone to flee to.

Arrest of Phillip and Nancy Garrido

On August 24, 2009, Phillip visited the UC Berkeley campus with his and Jaycee's two daughters to inquire about holding a religious event. Suspicious of his behavior, the UCPD special events manager had another officer conduct a background check, which revealed that Garrido was on parole for kidnapping and rape and was a registered sex offender. They followed up by calling Garrido's parole officer, who was surprised to learn that Garrido had children.

On August 26, Garrido attended a parole meeting with Nancy, Dugard and their daughters. Garrido insisted that Dugard and the young girls were relatives, and Jaycee, who called herself "Allissa," initially covered for him. Eventually, Garrido broke down and confessed to his crimes, enabling Dugard to reveal her true identity. Shortly thereafter, Phillip and Nancy Garrido were charged with 29 felony counts, including rape and false imprisonment. 

Return Home

On August 26, 2009, more than 18 years after she was abducted, Dugard was reunited with her mother, Terry Probyn, in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Soon after, the Dugard family learned from California Deputy Inspector General Dave Biggs that due to Garrido's failed parole supervision, they would be awarded $20 million by the State of California. Additionally, Phillip Garrido was named a person of interest in another California kidnapping case.

Memoir and Later Life

In July 2011, Dugard published a harrowing memoir, A Stolen Life, about her years spent with the Garridos. In March 2012, in an interview with Diane Sawyer, she spoke about her recent activity, discussing her happiness to be back with her family and her struggle with "learning" how to be free. During the interview, she recalled being overly joyed after ordering pizza during a recent trip to New York City: "Just walking down the street. With everybody. It was my favorite moment," she said.

In July 2016 Dugard published a follow up to her memoir entitled Freedom: My Book of Firsts, in which she described her experiences after years of captivity. "There is life after something tragic happens," wrote Dugard. "Life doesn't have to end if you don't want it to. It's all in how you look at it. Somehow, I still believe that we each hold the key to our own happiness and you have to grab it where you can in whatever form it might take." 

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