People Staff
December 28, 2009 12:00 PM

Rarely has a story combined so much horror with so much exultation. Kidnapped at age 11 near her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and missing for 18 years, Jaycee Dugard, now 29, had long been presumed dead when she suddenly turned up miraculously alive in August, kept all that time in a hovel behind Phillip Garrido’s residence in Antioch. Somehow nothing, not even the fact that sex offender Garrido had allegedly fathered her two daughters, Angel and Starlit, could dampen the rejoicing. In the wake of Jaycee’s return, says child advocate Ernie Allen, hundreds of leads on other missing kids have poured in: “It’s been a jolt of hope.”

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