New details are emerging in the case of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard, the California girl abducted at age 11 and freed last week at the age of 29. Jaycee has spent the past week reconnecting with her family, and Thursday, her aunt told reporters about the woman's readjustment.
At a news conference hosted by the Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jaycee's aunt, Tina Dugard, said the young woman is getting to know her sister, who was just a baby when Jaycee was abducted. Reading from a prepared statement, Tina Dugard said the family is sharing memories and stories in a secluded place.
"Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we've spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company," said Tina Dugard. "We are so very grateful to have her home."
Jaycee was abducted in the eastern California town of South Lake Tahoe in 1991. She resurfaced last week on the other side of the state, in the company of a 58 year old convicted sex offender named Phillip Garrido, and his 54-year-old wife, Nancy. Police say Garrido is the father of the abducted girl's two daughters, aged 11 and 15, and that the mother and daughters lived in the backyard of the Garrido home in the San Francisco community of Antioch. Garrido and his wife have been charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and rape, and both face life in prison if convicted.
Tina Dugard says her family has been getting to know Jaycee's daughters. The girls have never attended school, but she says they are clever, articulate and curious.
"Although they have no formal education, they are certainly educated," she said. "Jaycee did a truly amazing job with the limited resources and education that she herself had, and we are so proud of her."
Dugard thanked law enforcement agencies for their efforts, and says that Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, is overjoyed at the reunion.
"The smile on my sister's face is as wide as the sea," said Tina Dugard. "Her oldest daughter is finally home."
Long-term kidnap victims often say the process of readjustment is difficult, but Tina Dugard said in a recent newspaper interview that she is optimistic about her family's future.