The Story Of Jaycee Dugard's Kidnapping And Reappearance After 18 Years

If you, like many others, have been enthralled and appalled by the recent Netflix documentary about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, you may have noticed that at the end of the show they mentioned another case, that of Jaycee Dugard.

On the programme, entitled The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, one of the interviewees, Ernie Allen - who was the head of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in America - mentioned Jaycee Dugard's case as a reason to be hopeful that Madeleine might still be alive.

Allen said: "There are many, many cases we can point to in which children have been found, have come home alive, after months, after years.

"There have been cases in the United States in which witnesses, people who have information haven't come forward for decades, and then one day provide information that helps lead to the resolution of the case."

This kidnapping case has also been turned into a Netflix true-crime doc named Captive For 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story.

If you're not aware of the story, it all began back in 1991 with the abduction of an 11-year-old girl in California.

On June 10 1991 Jaycee Dugard was walking up the road to catch the school bus. On her way, a man driving a car pulled alongside her and rolled the window down.

Thinking that the man was going to ask for directions, Jaycee approached the vehicle. The man inside stunned her into unconsciousness with a stun gun and took her away.

An FBI handout from 1991 about Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping. Credit: PA
An FBI handout from 1991 about Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping. Credit: PA

The abduction was witnessed by some of Jaycee's schoolmates, as well as by her stepfather Carl Probyn but - despite Probyn giving chase on a bicycle - the abductors escaped.

A huge search effort ensued but found very little.

All the while, Jaycee was being held captive by Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

The treatment Jaycee endured is difficult to stomach. She was repeatedly raped and gave birth to two daughters in captivity. During the 18 years that she was held, law enforcement agencies missed several opportunities to figure out what had happened to her.

A composite photo of Jaycee Dugard. Credit: PA
A composite photo of Jaycee Dugard. Credit: PA

Most of the time, Jaycee was held in a secret place in the Garridos' back garden.

Eventually, after a report to Phillip Garrido's parole officer (he was a registered sex offender for several other crimes) Jaycee was discovered. Both Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arrested and charged with kidnapping, rape, and false imprisonment.

Phillip Garrido. Credit: ABC News
Phillip Garrido. Credit: ABC News

After nearly two decades in captivity, Jaycee was reunited with her family. Her two children were free for the first time in their short lives.

Nancy was sentenced to 36 years to life, Phillip received a sentence of 431 years.

Jaycee is now living as normal a life as she can with her two daughters. It's an incredible, shocking story. Thankfully, there is something of a happy ending.

Featured Image Credit: William Probyn/Netflix

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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