SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Thirty years ago this past week in South Lake Tahoe, a real life horror story began when 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped while walking to the bus stop.
On June 10, 1991, sexual predator Philip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido abducted Dugard and imprisoned her in the backyard of their Antioch, Calif., home. With the help of community members, law enforcement sprang to action, conducting a massive search for Dugard. Her mother, Terry Probyn, never gave up hope; but as the days and years went by there was no sign of her freckle-faced little girl.
Dugard endured 18 years of imprisonment by her kidnappers and raised two daughters while being held hostage in a ramshackle backyard compound.
Her unspeakable torment came to light in August of 2009 after two astute U.C. Berkeley campus officers noticed something suspicious which led to the arrest of Philip and Nancy Garrido, and the end of Dugard’s nightmare.
In her first public comment after the event, Dugard said her abductors stole her life.
The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office has since prosecuted the couple and they are now serving a long prison term.
Phillip Garrido received 431 years to life and Nancy Garrido to 36 years to life, the Tribune reported in 2011.
Her shocking experience at the hands of a monster has touched the hearts of El Dorado County and people all over the world, and the personal story of Dugard’s endurance of human spirit also continues to provide hope and inspiration to us all, especially for survivors of crime.
Source: El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.