Neighbors anxiously await Dugard interview

Jaycee Dugard, left, with her mother in a photograph provided by ABC News of the upcoming prime-time special "The Jaycee Dugard Interview." (ABC News)
July 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
No one is more curious to hear what Jaycee Lee Dugard has to say during her prime-time interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer than the Antioch neighbors who lived next door to Phillip Garrido's compound.

The neighbors who live on Walnut Avenue have been through so much. First, the media camped outside Garrido's home for months, and then the soul-searching began after realizing they had no idea Dugard had been imprisoned in a backyard compound for years.

Now, those neighbors are anxious to hear her story of hope, and thankful that Dugard is alive to tell it.

The house where Dugard spent 18 years in captivity has since been boarded up and abandoned, creating an eyesore on Walnut Avenue. Nearly two years since she was rescued, what really happened at the home and its backyard compound still remains a mystery for neighbors.

"I want to hear her side, and why she didn't try to leave," said neighbor Helen Boyer. "I'm real interested in that."

Boyer lives right next door to what was once Garrido's home. Boyer said she remembers seeing Dugard working int he front yard and said Garrido and his wife Nancy were good neighbors.

"I can't imagine Phil doing this such a thing because he was -- he seemed gentle to us," Boyer said.

Neighbors say they will be watching Dugard's interview tonight with Sawyer. It will be Dugard's first television interview since her discovery in 2009.

Dugard was 11 years old when Garrido, a convicted sex offender, kidnapped her on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe. Dugard was forced to live in a backyard prison, where she gave birth to two daughters fathered by Garrido.

Garrido would occasionally eat at a restaurant called the Bridgehead Cafe, just down the street from Walnut Avenue. Diana Gibson, a waitress at the restaurant, still fondly remembers Garrido.

"A little creepy," Gibson said of Garrido. "Made me do a double-take, turn around and wonder what's up."

The restaurant's owner, Murray Sexton, said he's glad Dugard is alive and with her family.

"Look at all the other tragedies that don't get that," Sexton said.

The house where it all happened will be on the auction block. So far, it appears as if nobody wants to buy it.

Neighbors are hoping they may soon find out how it is possible the unimaginable could have gone on for so long in their own backyards without them knowing or noticing.

Dugard, who is now 31 years old, lives in Northern California with her daughters, mother and two half-sisters. Her upcoming book "A Stolen Life" will be made available this week.

Diane Sawyer's prime-time interview with Dugard airs Sunday night at 9 p.m. on ABC7.


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