A US woman who was kidnapped in 1991 as an 11-year-old girl has walked into a California police station and identified herself, police say. She had been kept hidden in a backyard behind her captors' home for 18 years.
AFP - A US woman who turned up 18 years after she was kidnapped as a young girl had been kept in a hidden backyard behind her captor's home and had two children with her abductor, police said Thursday.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, appeared at a police station in Concord, California on Wednesday and identified herself as the missing woman, police officials said.
At a press conference, the El Dorado Sherif's Department said conversations with the woman confirmed that she was Dugard, who was kidnapped at age 11.
"Subsequent interviews provided information that only the victim and the kidnappers could know," said Fred Kollar from the department.
Police officials identified a couple taken into custody in connection with Dugard's kidnap as Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
Kollar told reporters that a search of the Garridos' home "revealed a hidden backyard within the backyard" that included "sheds, tents and outbuildings."
He added that two children taken into police care when the Garridos were arrested "turned out to be the children of Jaycee and (Phillip) Garrido."
Phillip Garrido is a registered sex offender who has served prison time for kidnapping and rape, Contra Costa county Sherrif Daniel Terry told ABC News, adding the couple were being investigated for kidnapping to commit rape.
Terry told AFP the pair were arrested on Wednesday and are being held on bail of one million dollars.
Dugard was 11 years old on June 10, 1991 when she was last seen by her stepfather Carl Probyn outside her home in South Lake Tahoe being kidnapped by two occupants in a car.
Probyn, who is now 60, gave chase on a bicycle but was too far away to stop the abduction.
"I had personally given up hope," Probyn told ABC News, adding he was just hoping to find the people responsible.
Probyn, his wife Terry and another daughter flew Thursday morning from Riverside, California to San Francisco to meet Dugard.
Date created : 2009-08-29