‘Captive for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story,’ as the title suggests, profiles the harrowing case of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who went missing at the age of 11 in 1991. With no sign of her for ages, family members and police officers feared the worst until an investigation revealed that Jaycee was alive, having been held captive by a notorious sex offender for a little over 18 years. So now that more than a decade has passed, let’s delve into all the details of Jaycee’s ordeal, along with her current work and whereabouts, shall we?
Who is Jaycee Lee Dugard?
In the fall of 1990, the Dugard family moved from Arcadia to Meyers since they believed that this Californian small town would be a safer community for their kids to grow up in. However, that changed on June 10, 1991, when two people kidnaped fifth-grader Jaycee Lee Dugard in broad daylight. As an 11-year-old wearing all-pink, Jaycee was strolling from her home to the bus stop on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe when a vehicle pulled up alongside her. In seconds, she was left unconscious due to a stun gun and taken away.
Although several people witnessed the abduction and tried to chase the kidnappers, it was to no avail. For the next three hours, Jaycee was held down, in and out of consciousness, by Nancy Bocanegra as her spouse, Phillip Garrido, drove them to their home in Antioch, over 120 miles from Jaycee’s home. She pleaded to be left alone and even stated that her family couldn’t afford a ransom, but it didn’t make a difference. Jaycee was subsequently stripped bare and led to a soundproof shed, where Phillip proceeded to rape her for the first time. After that, she was threatened and locked in the shed.
As time passed, a highly publicized search for Jaycee ensued, but she was unaware of it all. Her only human contact initially was Phillip, and although he presented her with a television, she wasn’t allowed to watch the news. Instead, Jaycee was kept in handcuffs, moved from storage units to tents, repeatedly raped and manipulated by her captors. Even Nancy served as her jailor. Jaycee’s restrictions slowly eased, but she wasn’t allowed to use her name and was forced to bear Phillip’s children, one when she was just 14-years-old and another when she was 17.
Phillip eventually built an eight-foot-tall fence in his backyard and set up a shelter for Jaycee, which she then utilized to cope with her captivity. She got into gardening and homeschooled her daughters, yet she was ordered to teach them that Nancy was their mother. With Jaycee as the sister, this pretense of a big family continued when they were permitted to come into contact with other people. But it was only in 2009 when Phillip made a trip to the University of California-Berkeley with Jaycee’s daughters that cops were notified of his strange behavior.
Where is Jaycee Dugard Now?
On August 26, 2009, Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender, arrived at a local police station in Concord to discuss his visit to the University and to follow up on the investigators’ concerns around the girls he was with. But he arrived with his wife Nancy, Jaycee or “Allissa,” and the two girls Deputies immediately separated and questioned them all. Jaycee kept up the mask for a while and falsely claimed that she hailed from Minnesota and was taking refuge at the Garrido residence from her abusive husband. On being reminded of Phillip’s record of sexual offences, Jaycee added that he was a “changed man” who was great to the girls.
However, ultimately, Jaycee revealed the truth. Some say she exhibited hints of Stockholm Syndrome, but she has since insisted that it was a way for her to ensure survival. In the aftermath of it all, Jaycee reunited with her family, attained custody of her daughters, and began animal therapy to cope with everything she’d been through. In 2011, she released an autobiography titled ‘A Stolen Life,’ followed by ‘Freedom: My Book of Firsts’ in 2016. Jaycee has come to accept her past, but she refuses to let it define her. Hence, Jaycee often engages with organizations to create a more victim-focused approach amongst law enforcement officers. She has also received a $20 million settlement from the State of California.
More importantly, though, the California native operates the JAYC, or Just Ask Yourself to Care, Foundation, where she helps several others through significant life crises. Her personal life now appears to be as ordinary as it can be, especially considering how her assailants had destroyed her well-being by not letting her move from within four walls until shortly after the birth of her first daughter. Furthermore, because they’d often tortured her by suddenly giving and taking away pets, she currently seems to have a few permanent ones of her own.
Read More: Where Are Phillip and Nancy Garrido Now?