Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

First picture: Jaycee Lee Dugard reunited with her mother

Jaycee Lee Dugard with her mother Terry Probyn

The first pictures of Jaycee Lee Dugard reunited with her mother have been published, 18 years after she was kidnapped in the US as an 11-year-old girl.

Snapshots published by Hello! magazine show a smiling Ms Dugard, now 29, on horseback accompanied by Terry Probyn, who last saw her daughter in 1991, shortly before she was snatched.

An accompanying article reveals that the pair are working on recapturing the bond between them through talking, reading and cooking together.

Ms Dugard was abducted whilst playing outside her Californian home. In the 18 years during which she was hidden from the world, she was kept in a back garden compound owned by Phillip Garrido (58).

In that time she gave birth to two children by her captor.

Mr Garrido and his wife Nancy (55) have pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges including kidnap, rape and false imprisonment.

Her story received worldwide attention after she emerged in August after nearly two decades in captivity.

She has since been living in an undisclosed location with her mother and half-sister Shayna (19).

People close to the family told Hello! that the family are bonding well and that Ms Dugard is responding well to her new life of freedom.

A friend said: “Meeting her, if you didn't know what happened, you would never guess in a million years.

“She's friendly, she jokes, she's a sweet girl and very kind. She also has a real innocence in her eyes.”

In a statement also released to People magazine, Ms Dugard said she was “so happy to be back with my family”.

Ms Dugard's two daughters — who had been brought up to believe that Jaycee was their sister — have accepted that she is in fact their mother.

A source told Hello!: “Because of the unconditional, protective love she showed them when they thought she was their big sister, it's more a case of switching titles — the love is still there.”

Angel (15) and Starlit (11) are described as “smart, playful girls”.

The full feature appears in the current issue of Hello!

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