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Old 08-27-09, 02:52 PM
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Police: Sex offender, wife arrested in kidnap

Police: Sex offender, wife arrested in kidnap

By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer Juliet Williams, Associated Press Writer – 2 mins ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Police say a convicted sex offender and his wife have been arrested in the kidnapping of an 11-year-old in 1991 who recently walked into a Northern California police station.

Police say 58-year-old Phillip Garrido and his 54-year-old wife Nancy Garrido were arrested in the kidnapping case Wednesday. The Megan's Law database says Phillip Garrido has a conviction for rape by force or fear.

The woman came into a San Francisco Bay area police station and said she was Jaycee Lee Dugard, a blond, ponytailed girl when she was abducted as she headed to a school bus stop 18 years ago.

The woman was in good health. It was not immediately clear when she had surfaced at the station.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sheriff's officials said Thursday they believe a woman who walked into a police station had been kidnapped as an 11-year-old in 1991 outside her South Lake Tahoe home. Two people were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

The woman came into a San Francisco Bay area police station and said she was Jaycee Lee Dugard, a blond, ponytailed girl when she was abducted as she headed to a school bus stop 18 years ago, said sheriff's Lt. Les Lovell of the El Dorado Sheriff's Department.

"We're 99 percent sure it's her," Lovell said. He said DNA tests were being conducted. The woman was in good health. It was not immediately clear when she had surfaced at the station.

Lovell said Concord police did an investigation after the woman surfaced, and he received a call Wednesday from investigators who had tentatively identified her as Dugard.

Her family has been contacted and they are in the process of arranging a meeting, said Lovell, who was a detective assigned to help investigate the kidnapping in 1991. "We are very confident at this point in time that it is her."

Jimmie Lee, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, said FBI and El Dorado sheriff's deputies arrested two suspects Wednesday night. They were being held in the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez.

Lee said the two were being held for investigation of several charges, including kidnapping, but he could not elaborate.

Law enforcement sources said authorities were also searching a home in Antioch.

Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, said the news was like winning the lottery.

"To have this happen where we get her back alive, and where she remembers things from the past, and to have people in custody is a triple win," he told The Sacramento Bee.

Witnesses reported that a vehicle with two people drove up to Dugard and abducted her while her stepfather was watching on June 10, 1991, the Sheriff's Department said in a news release Thursday.

In media reports at the time, the girl's stepfather said he heard Jaycee scream then jumped on a bicycle and frantically pedaled after the car in a failed effort to follow it up a hill. He then turned around and screamed at neighbors to call 911.

The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.

Probyn said his wife, Terry, had spoken with Dugard by phone on Wednesday. He said the mother and their 19-year-old daughter were flying from their Southern California home to meet with Dugard in Northern California.

Investigators first visited with his wife about three weeks ago, he said.

Probyn said he endured years of suspicion from FBI agents who believed he may have been involved in the abduction. He eventually lost hope that he would ever see his stepdaughter alive.

"Then you pray that you get her body back so there is an ending," Probyn said.

Lovell said investigators have been working the case consistently since she was abducted and new leads had surfaced over time.

"You bet it's a surprise. This is not the normal resolution to a kidnapping," he said.


Associated Press Writer Paul Elias in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Police: Sex offender, wife arrested in kidnap - Yahoo! News
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Old 08-27-09, 07:45 PM
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Sheriff: Kidnap victim, children kept in backyard shed

* Story Highlights
* NEW: Kidnapped girl grew up, had children with captor, sheriff says
* Sex offender admitted to having abducted girl in South Lake Tahoe, police say
* Phillip Garrido, Nancy Garrido booked on charges related to kidnapping
* Jaycee Dugard disappeared in South Lake Tahoe, California, at age 11 in 1991

updated 41 minutes ago

(CNN) -- An 11-year-old California girl snatched from the street in front of her house in 1991 had two children with the man accused of taking her and lived in a secret backyard shed, authorities said Thursday.
Phillip Garrido is a registered sex offender, listed as having been convicted of forcible rape.

The 18-year mystery of what happened to Jaycee Dugard ended this week when a sex offender admitted to corrections authorities that he abducted her.

Jaycee was abducted from South Lake Tahoe in June 1991, said Fred Kollar, undersheriff of El Dorado County. The case began to unfold when the sex offender, Phillip Garrido, 58, was stopped and questioned by campus police at the University of California at Berkeley.

With him were two children and a woman identified only as Alissa, who DNA tests later revealed was Dugard, now 29. The children were later determined to be Garrido's and Dugard's, Kollar said.

During questioning by a parole officer, Garrido admitted to having abducted Dugard and said the two children were his, said Scott Kernan, undersecretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Garrido and and his wife, Nancy, were taken into custody and held at the jail in Concord, California. An officer at the jail said the two had been booked and were ordered held on $1 million bail. They are now being held in El Dorado County, according to public records.

Phillip Garrido had been booked on charges of kidnapping, conspiracy and related offenses, the officer said. Nancy Garrido was booked on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy.

Phillip Garrido was paroled from a Nevada state prison June 8, 1988, and served time in federal custody and in Nevada for sexual assault, the corrections department said. The Department of Justice's Megan's Law page shows that the arrest involved a charge of forcible rape.

Dugard, now 29, is in "good health," the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department said.

Earlier Thursday, Carl Probyn, Dugard's stepfather, said an FBI agent had called his wife, Terry, on Wednesday afternoon to tell her that Dugard had been found.

He witnessed the abduction of the blond, blue-eyed girl, who was wearing a pink windbreaker and pink stretch pants as she walked to her bus stop on June 10, 1991.

At the time, "it was reported that a vehicle occupied by two individuals drove up to Jaycee Dugard and abducted her in view of her stepfather," the El Dorado County Sheriff's office said Thursday.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's office scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) to discuss the case.

Probyn said his wife, who was flying Thursday from Southern California to meet with Dugard, spoke to her daughter on Wednesday.

"Jaycee remembers everything," he said. "They talked back and forth and she had the right answers to all my wife's questions."

He said, "I'm feeling great! ... It's like winning the Lotto."

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said the reappearance of Dugard is "absolutely huge."

"One of the things that we preach to searching families all the time ... is that even in these long-term cases there's hope," he said.

"Even in these long-term cases ... it's important that we not let the world forget."

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