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Jaycee Lee Dugard ( 1980 - )  Category ( Celebrities ) [suggest a correction]

Jaycee Lee DugardFor 18 years, Jaycee Dugard was gone -- but never forgotten.

On June 10, 1991, the 11-year-old was abducted from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, CA, as her stepfather watched in horror. He gave chase on a bicycle, but was quickly outdistanced by the gray Mercury sedan into which Jaycee had disappeared.

At first, the local police followed the usual formula in such cases -- start with the family. But Carl Probst, the stepfather, and Ken Slayton, the biological father, both passed lie detector tests, and the trail went cold.

Meanwhile, Dugard became the inspiration for pink ribbons (her favorite color), fliers, and even a song. Dozens of volunteers took part in searches of the neighborhood.

Still, the case remained a mystery until August of 2009, when a man named Philip Garrido visited the University of California at Berkeley police department to ask permission to hold a religious gathering on campus. The woman to whom he spoke thought his behavior was odd, and campus police officer Ally Jacobs sat in on the meeting the next day. Garrido arrived with two girls whom he identified as his daughters, and both Jacobs and campus special events manager Lisa Campbell (with whom Garrido had originally met) thought the childrens' behavior was "odd."

A background check revealed that Garrido was on parole after having been convicted of a sex offense, and that records showed he had no children. He was asked to come to a parole hearing, and was accompanied by his wife, Jaycee Dugard, and the two girls, who turned out to be Dugard's children.

And that was it. Dugard told police who she was, Garrido was arrested, and Jaycvee was reunited with her parents.

"In the end," Garrido said, "this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story."

He and his wife Nancy, who lived in Antioch, CA, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and rape. Dugard said she was happy to be back with her family and wound up on the cover of People magazine. Bone fragments found in the Garridos' backyard were determined to be those of long-dead Native Americans.

Contra Costas sheriff Warren Rupf issued a public apology for failing to locate Dugard sooner, despite two visits by deputies to the Garrido home (Jaycee was kept in a backyard shed).

"We missed an opportunity to bring earlier closure to this situation," Rupf said. "I cannot change the course of events but we are beating ourselves up over this."

Probts told the media that Jaycee had developed "a strong attachment" to Garrido, and had begun to think of him as her husband rather than her kidnapper.

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