Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard, held captive for 18 years in a ramshackle backyard compound, was seen cooking with her sister and mother and riding horses in recently shot home videos aired on ABC Friday.
In one video clip, Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, thanks the public for its support and asks people to respect the family’s privacy.
“Please give us the time we need to heal as a family without the prying eyes of photographers and the press,” says Probyn, addressing the camera in an outdoor setting. “We released this video to show that we are happy and well, and when we have more to share, we will.”
“Hi I’m Jaycee,” says Dugard in another clip, wearing a black shirt, jeans and a pink baseball cap. “I want to thank you for your support and I’m doing well.
“It’s been a long haul, but I’m getting there.”
Several seconds of video show Dugard — a round-faced brunette — in the kitchen with her mother and her half-sister, Shayna, decorating Christmas cookies and laughing.
The appearance by Dugard, 29, represents the first time she has been seen and heard on video since she resurfaced six months ago after being kidnapped outside her South Lake Tahoe, Calif. home in 1991.
Photographs of Dugard, her mother and her half-sister were published in People magazine in October, along with a statement from Dugard saying that she was happy to be back with her family.
Convicted sex offender, Phillip Garrido, and his wife, Nancy, are awaiting trial on charges that they kidnapped Dugard when she was 11 years old and sexually assaulted her for several years. Prosecutors say she was kept in a tent-compound in a secret backyard at the couple’s Antioch, Calif. home. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.
Dugard had two daughters, now 12 and 15, by Phillip Garrido. The girls were not pictured in the People magazine spread to protect their privacy, and ABC did not say they would appear in the home videos.
Since being reunited with her family, Dugard has avoided the spotlight while living in an undisclosed location in Northern California. Court documents suggest she is cooperating with El Dorado County authorities who are prosecuting the Garridos. Through a spokesman, she has said she is willing to testify, should there be a trial.
Over the past six months, Dugard also has taken steps to reintegrate into society. She got a driver’s license last month and obtained birth certificates for her daughters. ABC reported that she is completing her high-school equivalency degree and hopes to attend college.