A new government report suggests the deep confusion that kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard suffered after 18 years of living in captivity.
When parole officers visited the house where she and her two young daughters lived with her alleged captors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, Jaycee initially became indignant and explained that she was from Minnesota and had been hiding for five years from an abusive husband.
“She was terrified of being found, she said, and that was the reason she could not give the parole agent any information,” according to the 45-page report by California’s Inspector General.
The report goes on to detail how parole officers eventually found out what they believe to be the truth – that Phillip Garrido kidnapped Dugard in 1991 and is the father of her daughters, Angel, 15, and Starlet, 11 – after interviewing members of the household separately.
When officers arrived at the Garrido’s Bay Area house, on Aug. 26, Jaycee initially refused to show any identification. She said her name was Alyssa and that she was “aware that Garrido had taken the girls to UC Berkeley (to apply for a permit to host a religious event), and that he was a sex offender who was on parole for kidnapping and raping a woman,” the report says.
“She added that Garrido was a changed man and a great person who was good with her kids,” the report continues. “Alyssa subsequently stated that she didn’t want to provide any additional information and that she might need a lawyer.”
After the parole agent separated Garrido from the others, Garrido said that all three young women were “sisters and that the father was his brother, who lived nearby in Oakley, Calif.”
But after several rounds of interviews that also involved Concord police, “Garrido admitted he was the father of the two girls … and to kidnapping and raping Alyssa,” the report says. It was only then that “Alyssa identified herself as Jaycee Dugard and confirmed that she had been kidnapped and raped by Garrido.” (The Garridos have pleaded not guilty to 29 counts, including rape and kidnapping.)
Dr. Carole Lieberman, a forensic psychiatrist at UCLA, suggests that Jaycee “was protecting Garrido out of fear, a distorted sense of loyalty, and a need to feel connected to the father of her children.” Lieberman, who is not involved in the Dugard case, adds the young woman was probably also concerned about her daughters learning the truth about their father, and that she was probably embarrassed about never trying to return to her real family.
The report also found that during the 10-year period in which the parole department supervised Garrido, officials failed to adequately classify and supervise him, failed to obtain key information from federal parole authorities, failed to properly supervise parole agents responsible for him, and failed to use GPS information.
The report says parole agents ignored opportunities to determine that Garrido was violating the terms of his parole, missed opportunities to discover the existence of Garrido’s three victims, failed to investigate clearly visible utility wires running from Garrido’s house to the girls’ concealed backyard compound, failed to investigate the presence of a 12-year-old female during a home visit, and failed to talk to neighbors or local public safety agencies.