Tahoe tragedy, 10 years later
It’s been 10 years since the terrifying abduction on Washoan Boulevard.
An 11-year-old girl was pulled kicking and screaming into a steel-gray sedan and hasn’t been seen since.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was snatched as she walked uphill to her bus stop. Dugard’s stepfather, Carl Probyn, was working in the family garage that morning. He saw the gray car drive past Dugard, then pull an awkward U-turn.
The driver, believed to be a white male, drove toward Dugard and blocked her path. Probyn raced after the car on a bike, but it proved futile.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies and the FBI searched tirelessly for the little girl. The case gained the attention of the national media yet it remains unsolved.
Sunday, the anniversary of the crime, the public is invited at 1:30 p.m. to join Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, for the Jaycee Lee Dugard Pink Ribbon Parade. Probyn, 42, and her 11-year-old daughter, Shayna, are expected to drive up from Riverside, Calif., to participate in the event.
“Pink is Jaycee’s favorite color,” Probyn said. “Her room was pink, she used to sleep with a big pink bunny. After she was taken we put pink ribbons everywhere – on cars and trees.”
A police escort will lead people on bikes or on foot in the U.S. Highway 50 parade from South Tahoe Middle School to the South Lake Tahoe Branch of The El Dorado County Library. Organizers are asking people to wear pink and decorate their bikes pink in honor of Dugard. Pink decorations will be provided at the school.
At the library, there will be a commemorative ceremony for Dugard, as well as Kyrstal Steadman, a Meyers girl abducted and murdered in March 2000. Sonya Klempner, Krystal’s sister, plans to parade alongside Probyn.
Probyn said going back to Tahoe will be difficult for her emotionally, but she knows it will be worth it.
“I’m excited to see all my friends and family; see them and hug them and be with them and yet I don’t look forward to why we are doing this. I would really rather not go through this. But I want these kids to know there are ways to protect themselves. A parent can’t be there 24-7 to protect their child.”
Soroptimist International, a charitable service club at South Shore, and its offshoot foundation, A Fighting Chance, organized the parade. A Fighting Chance teaches children, grades 3 through 6, ways to defend themselves if confronted with an abduction.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department recently donated a Crown Victoria sedan to A Fighting Chance. The car has been detailed with the group’s colorful logo.
This is the first year Soroptimist will expand the Fighting Chance program to sixth-graders. The Crown Victoria will allow them hands-on learning.
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