In 1990 in Lake Tahoe, a young girl named Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido. She was discovered alive in 2009. Dugard was born May 3, 1980. She lived in a shack in the backyard of her abusers for 18 years. Phillip Garrido raped her and impregnated her. Dugard had two daughters during her captivity – one at 14, and one at 17. The girls were raised to call the Garrido’s ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, and believed that Jaycee was their older sister.
Her captors ordered her to adopt a new name, and she chose Alissa. The Garridos constantly lied to her, brainwashing her, so that she would not feel the need to try to escape.
Dugard was discovered and rescued when security officers at a local college discovered that, despite being accompanied by such a young girl, the Garridos had never had children. Garrido was on campus at the University of California, Berkeley to discuss the permit process for speaking at the school. Garrido wanted to speak at the university about schizophrenia and his supposed methods of controlling his mental illness. The university’s special events manager noticed his suspicious behavior and contacted the campus police. After doing a background check on Garrido, campus police saw that he had previously been convicted of sex crimes, and contacted his parole officer to report concerns about the children’s well-being. The parole officer had been visiting Garrido’s home for years, and never knew that he had any children.
Phillip was called for a meeting with his parole officer that week, and brought with him his wife, the two daughters, and Jaycee- who was still going under the name ‘Alissa’. During questioning, Jaycee stuck to the story and assured officials that she was Alissa, and said that while Garrido was a convicted sex offender, he had changed his ways. It was only after Garrido admitted that he had kidnapped and raped ‘Alissa’ that she identified herself as Jaycee Lee Dugard. Investigators believe that Jaycee may have experienced Stockholm Syndrome during her period of captivity.
Phillip and Nancy Garrido entered guilty pleas to Dugard’s kidnapping on April 28, 2011 – Phillip also received 13 sexual assault charges, while Nancy had a charge of aiding and abetting sexual assault.
Phillip received 431 years to life in prison since he was already a registered sex offender before the kidnapping. Nancy has 36 years to serve. Dugard received $20 million from a victim-compensation fund.
Since she was rescued, Dugard has published a book, entitled “A Stolen Life“. She lives a private life with her two daughters, aiming to adjust to a new life away from the public eye.