Jaycee Lee Dugard abduction anniversary observed quietly
Anyone who says it cannot happen here is wrong.
Six years ago today, abductors still unknown proved it can happen here.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, then 11, was on her way to her school bus stop, still within her stepfather’s sight outside their Washoan Boulevard home, when it happened here.
In a flash through summer’s morning glare, Carl Probyn saw his stepdaughter pulled into a sedan that quickly sped away. The child has never since been seen by her family or authorities again.
Every mother’s worst nightmare continues for Terry Probyn. There can be no closure until her oldest daughter is found – dead or alive.
She believes she will see the child again, “one way or another,” she said Monday.
Probyn will speak today at a press conference announcing a new program designed to teach youngsters how to fight off potential abductors.
The program is dubbed “A Fighting Chance” and sponsored by Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe.
“It is really time to tell our children that, at the very moment that they are in the grasp of an abductor, it is important to free themselves,” said Soroptimist President Elect Brooke Laine.
It is unlikely that a young child is going to overpower an adult who tries to force him or her into a car.
However, Laine said little disruptions may be enough to dissuade an assailant. If a person tries to pull a child into a car, the child should try to run in the opposite direction from where the front of the vehicle is pointed. If a person tries to pull a child off a bicycle, the child should hold on to the bicycle for as long as possible.
The program is based on research on child abductions, including stories of children who escaped attackers, Laine said.
A Fighting Chance was adopted last week as Soroptimists’ club project for 1997-98 and is still in its formative stages. Laine said club members will implement the program at local schools in conjunction with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and Lake Tahoe Unified School District.
“There is a need for protecting our children,” Probyn said. “I’m at the top of the list of supporters.”
Laine said many club members do not think enough has been done to educate children protecting themselves since June 10, 1991.
“I think (the Dugard abduction) was a wakeup call,” Laine added. “It did happen once, and it could happen again. What this club is saying is, ‘it’s time to stand up and teach our children the types of things to do should the situation that confronted Jaycee Lee Dugard confront them.'”
The search for Dugard, whose 17th birthday was last month, may never end.
El Dorado County sheriff’s detectives, in conjunction with FBI investigators, continue re-checking old leads and exploring new ones, said Sgt. Jim Watson.
Earlier this year, detectives inspected under the Probyns’ former home for additional clues.
“It was just tying up loose ends,” Watson said.
Neither that effort nor interviews with witnesses and other contacts have yielded substantial new evidence.
Besides speaking on behalf of A Fighting Chance at noon at the Lake Tahoe Unified School District office, Probyn does not plan any public remembrance of her oldest daughter or the abduction.
“I want to rearrange the focus on the prevention of this ever happening again,” she said. “This whole program is going to be dedicated to Jaycee’s memory.”
What would Probyn tell Jaycee today?
“Get your butt home,” she would say.
“Help me get you home.
I miss you.
I love you.”
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