It is a story so harrowing and full of hope, it is hard to believe it really happened.
Jaycee Lee Dugard has broken her silence about the 18 years stolen from her. She tells Diane Sawyer of ABC News what it was like to be kidnapped and raped and bear two of her captor's children in unthinkable conditions.
She was only 14 years old when she gave birth to her kidnapper's child in a back yard.
“Then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn't alone anymore," Dugard said.
Three years earlier, she was kidnapped by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy, a willing accomplice. For the next 18 years, she was a helpless victim of his drug fueled rants and repeated sexual assaults. Despite 60 home visits from Garrido's parole officer and deputies, she was never found. Police never checked the backyard even though neighbors reported seeing children there.
Asked if she thought about “taking those two girls and running,” Dugard said.
“I'm sure I did. But it wasn't something I felt I could do.”
“The situation felt like it wasn't an option. I don't know how else to explain it. There was no leaving,” Dugard said.
“What would it have taken for you to believe you could leave?” Sawyer asked her.
“I've asked myself that question many times. … The mind-manipulation plus the physical abuse I suffered in the beginning, there was no leaving… maybe if one of the girls were being hurt,” she said.
A crucial tip led to their discovery, reuniting her with her overjoyed mother Terry Probyn. Dugard tells her story in a new book called “A stolen life.”
Phillip Garrido will spend the rest of his life in prison.