‘I Will Not Be Afraid’: Jaycee Dugard Speaks Out on Kidnapping to ABC News

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Child Quest / Handout / REUTERS
Child Quest / Handout / REUTERS

Jaycee Dugard has spent 18 of the 31 years of her life held in captivity. Kidnapped while walking to school as an 11 year old and freed two years ago, Dugard is now ready to share her story with the world.

Her first televised interview, with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, will air this Sunday night at 9 p.m.. “Now I can walk in the room and see my mom,” ABC reports that Dugard told Sawyer. “Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls.”

Dugard now lives with her mother, Terry Probyn, and two daughters, whom she gave birth to in the backyard of her kidnappers, Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Officers apparently paid 60 visits to the Garrido household while Dugard was being held captive without finding her. She was finally discovered after Philip Garrido took Dugard’s two daughters to the UC Berkeley campus to hand out religious pamphlets, drawing the attention of police officers. A background check confirmed Garrido as a registered sex offender, and he later arrived, with Dugard and her two children, at a meeting with his parole officer.

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In June, Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years in prison. Nancy Garrido will serve 36 years to life in jail. Today, Dugard, who initially protected Garrido after he was caught, wears the symbol of a pinecone around her neck as a testament to her new life. Shortly after she was freed, she started asking people to bring her pinecones, later realizing that a pinecone was the last thing she touched after being shot by Garrido with a stun gun on that fateful day in 1991.

“She looks with unflinching clarity at what was done to her. The handcuffs, the sexual abuse—she talks about it, she tells about it,” Sawyer told Good Morning America about the interview. “But at the end of the day she says, ‘He’s not going to own me. I will stare it down and I will not be afraid.’”

Sunday’s television program will also include the first broadcast of the victim’s statement that Probyn read at the Garrido sentencing. The interview moreover comes just prior to the release of Dugard’s memoir, A Stolen Life, on July 12. The memoir is excerpted, alongside never-before-seen photos, in this week’s People magazine.

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