Similarities between Jaycee Dugard and Ohio kidnapping cases

Missing poster featuring Jaycee Dugard.
May 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are some similarities between the Cleveland kidnapping case and the Bay Area's Jaycee Dugard case.

Dugard was 11 years old when she was abducted by a couple in South Lake Tahoe. She was held in captivity at home near Antioch for 18 years.

The quiet Antioch neighborhood where Dugard was held captive seems back to normal, away from the media glare, when her kidnappers Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arrested in 2010 and sent to prison for decades.

The Garrido home has been fixed up and sold and many of their neighbors have left.

Helen Boyer lives right next door. As she watched the news coverage of the three abducted Cleveland women being saved, she saw similarities to the Garrido case.

"Oh, not another case like Garrido. You know, I did think that and I thought 'how terrible, how terrible,'" Boyer said.

In the Cleveland incident, the neighbors never suspected anyone was being held against their will.

Same in Antioch, no one thought it was the Garridos who kidnapped Dugard in 1991 and held her captive. She later gave birth to Garrido's two children.

"If had I heard anything, or had I sure found out what's, you know, try to find out what's going on and I would have turned him in. I wouldn't have stood for that one minute," Boyer said.

Dugard released a statement about the case similar to hers. She said, "These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn't who they are. It is only what happened to them. The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More then (sic) ever, this affirms we should never give up hope."

Dustin Mehl moved in a few doors down from the Garridos after they made headlines. Some of his neighbors are still upset they didn't discover Dugard sooner. He hopes the neighbors in Cleveland don't have the same regret.

"No they shouldn't blame themselves, no, because you just never know. You can't read people," said Mehl.

Jaycee Dugard accepts Hope award in Washington

Tuesday night, Dugard was in Washington D.C. accepting the Hope Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"What an amazing time to be talking about hope with everything that's happening," said Dugard at the event. "I want to thank my mom for the hope she has always had for me."

She said she believes hope is what kept those three kidnapping victims in Cleveland alive. Today she leads a foundation that supports families of missing children.

Now the Cleveland police are facing questions about their handling of the missing person cases.

Call it coincidence, but the officer who found Dugard was also speaking to families of missing children when the news broke.

"It actually has a lot to do with interdepartmental politics," said former UC Berkeley police Officer Allison Jacobs.

Jacobs wrote her master's thesis in criminology on why police officers ignore their intuition.

"You know, I caught a lot of flak for taking the time on the Jaycee Dugard case," said Jacobs. "A lot of times police departments, not all of them, but a lot of police departments are not very supportive of outside-the-box thinking."

Both Jacobs and Duggard also stressed the need for more people to be aware and alert.

"And last of all I'd like all of us to remember to just ask yourself to care," said Dugard.

Dugard added this recent case reaffirms her belief that many more missing children are still waiting to be found.

ABC7 News reporter Alan Wang contributed to this report.


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