Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Snatched by a Stranger
Back Home After 18 Years
Back Home After 18 Years
Jaycee Dugard, 11, was snatched from South Lake Tahoe, California on June 10, 1991, while walking in front of her house to the school bus stop. Her stepfather, Carl Probyn, witnessed the abduction and told police that a gray sedan, with 2 passengers, made a U-turn and a 30-year-old female with long dark hair grabbed the girl and pulled her into the car.

The break in the case came when Phillip Garrido, convicted in 1971 of rape and kidnapping, came to the attention of UC Berkeley police while attempting to distribute religious literature on campus with two small children and a woman identified only as "Alissa" in tow. Campus police ran Garrido's ID and contacted his parole office, resulting in a summons requiring Garrido to make an appearance at his local parole office. His wife and the two children accompanied him to the appointment at the police station. Suspicion arose when Garrido's parole officer noted that he had never seen the young "Alissa" or the two children on his many visits to the Garrido home. During the interview "Alissa," actually Dugard, revealed her true identity to the agents, Garrido confessed to the abduction and to having fathered the two children with her. A DNA test confirmed what Dugard's family already knew: Jaycee Dugard had been found alive and was coming home.

A search of the Garrido's property revealed a section of the yard hidden behind the house where, unknown to neighbors, Jaycee had been kept a prisoner and a sex slave for 18 years. She and her two daughters — now 11 and 15 — lived in a collection of ragged tents and sheds. None of the neighbors claim to have ever heard any unusual noises coming from the Garrido's yard, though the neighborhood children were told to steer clear of the registered sex offender.
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