People reveals new photo of Jaycee Dugard

By | October 15, 2009

Jaycee Dugard People CoverThis morning People magazine revealed its new cover featuring a photograph of a beaming Jaycee Dugard. The image of the 29-year-old Dugard is the first to be released to the public since she was was freed after spending the past 18 years in captivity and reunited with her family. A quote from Dugard accompanies the cover photo that says simply, “I’m so happy to be back with my family.”

Friends and family members close to Dugard, who was not directly interviewed for the 10-page article in the issue hitting newsstands nationwide Friday, spoke to People magazine about her abduction, the years she spent imprisoned inside of a hidden encampment of tents and sheds, and the struggles she and her children, Angel, 15, and Starlet, 11, are having as they adjust to a normal life.

Erika Shulte, a Dugard family spokesperson, told Ann Curry of the “Today Show” that despite all they’ve been through, the Dugards are “very close and comfortable and happy.” She added, “If you didn’t know the circumstances, it would just seem like any other family.” Shulte said that a therapist is using horseback riding as a way of helping Dugard and her daughters (both of whom were fathered by Dugard’s captor, Phillip Garrido), assimilate into modern society.

Whether or not People paid for the cover photo, which was taken by a private photographer, is unknown. In an interview with the “Today Show”‘s Matt Lauer, People’s managing editor, Larry Hackett, would only say “We have bought photographs in the past … I don’t want to go into the details.” Hackett added that Dugard and her mother, 50-year-old Terry Probyn, decided to grant the magazine permission to publish the photo as part of an effort to control the story of Dugard’s abduction and release, a story that has garnered intense interest from the media and the general public.

Garrido kidnapped Dugard when she was waiting to catch the school bus near her family’s home in South Lake Tahoe, California, on June 10, 1991, when she was just 11 years old. Dugard and her daughters were freed on August 26th of this year after an employee of University of California at Berkeley expressed concern for their safety to a campus police after Garrido and the children visited her office to inquire about holding a Christian event on the school’s campus. The campus police then ran a background check on Garrido, became alarmed upon learning that he was on parole for rape and contacted his parole officer, who immediately called Garrido in for a meeting. Later in the day, Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy showed up for the meeting with his parole officer with Dugard and her children, whose true identities were discovered by authorities after being separated from the Garridos. Jaycee Dugard and her children were reunited with her family the next day, while Phillip and Nancy Garrido were taken into custody and remain in jail on charges of kidnapping and various other crimes. Additionally, Phillip Garrido is being investigated for his possible involvement in a string of unsolved murders in the area.

via People reveals new photo of Jaycee Dugard – Yahoo! News.

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