Kidnap Confession: “It's a Disgusting Thing”

Stepfather says child remembers everything

In a dramatic confession during a phone interview, a Bay Area sex offender has admitted to doing a "disgusting thing" -- an apparent reference to the 1991 kidnapping of 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was found safe in Concord on Wednesday.

Phillip Garrido confessed to the crime Thursday, California corrections officials said.

"My life has been straightened out," Garrido told a reporter from KCRA, an NBC affiliate based in Sacramento. "Wait 'til you hear the story of what took place at this house. You're gonna be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place in the beginning. But I turned my life completely around ... I'm so sorry."

It has been 18 years since Dugard was kidnapped near Lake Tahoe.

El Dorado authorities say they think she spent most of life living in sheds or outbuildings on the property of her captors.  They say her kidnapper fathered two children with Dugard.  The children were with her when the case was cracked.

The break in the case came after a parole agent brought Garrido in for questioning after he was seen with two children on the U.C. Berkeley campus.   A Berkeley officer noticed Garrido acting suspicous and reported him.   Although there will probably be many, the Berkeley officer is the first "hero" of this story.

Garrido brought his wife, two young children and an adult woman with him to the parole office for what he thought would be routine questioning to a Concord.   The meeting started as routine, but quickly changed.

While talking to Garrido, the agent discovered the woman was Dugard, now 29 years old.

Later in the questioning the agent said Phillip Garrido admitted he kidnapped Dugard.

Authorities said Dugard and the children have never been to school, never been to the doctor, and were kept in complete isolation in a backyard compound in Antioch.

Garrido was paroled from a Nevada state prison on June 8, 1999 after serving time in federal custody in Nevada for sexual assault.

It is not clear who was in control of the kidnapped child during the time Garrido was in jail in the late 1990s.

Lt. Les Lovell of the department's South Lake Tahoe office said, "We're 99 percent sure it's her." He says DNA tests are being conducted.  Lovell was the detective first assigned to the case in 1991.

The Garrido's live in Antioch and both are being held on a one million dollar bail.

The FBI conducted a search of their home Thursday morning.  A car similar to the one described during her abduction was towed from the property late Thursday.

A news helicopter over the house showed dozens of FBI agents at the home. The property has several outbuildings. The main house has a terra cotta roof. The agents set up a tent in the backyard.

Neighbor Betty Unpingco said she always found Phillip Garrido to be strange. She said she never saw any children or young adults coming or going or ever playing in the front yard.

Phillip Garrido is being held in Martinez on suspicion of kidnapping, rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, sexual penetration and conspiracy. He is a listed sex offender on the Megan's Law Web site with the same address in Antioch.

His wife Nancy Garrido was being held on suspicion of conspiracy and kidnapping.

Phillip Garrido is being described as a kind of religous fanatic. NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez says he has a church in Antioch and often sets up a tent outside a wrecking yard in Pittsburg where he attempts to preach.  A person who picked up the phone at the wrecking yard Thursday said he had been there just yesterday and had left several pamplets.

The couple who owns the wrecking yard told Hernandez they've known Garrido for 10 years, adding they allowed him to preach outside their business. They recently invited the Garrido's and their two young children over to their house for a party. They said the Garrido children seemed to be in "culture shock" during the party and didn't seem to know how to act around other kids their age.  

The young children were said to be homeschooled and they attended church in the family's basement.

Dugard was abducted in 1991 on her way to a school bus stop.

Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, who currently lives in southern California, flew up to the East Bay to be reunited with her daughter.

Dugard's stepfather told KCRA Wednesday that his wife spoke to the woman last night and she instantly knew she was her long-missing daughter.  He said, "Jaycee remembers everything."

All those years ago, Carl Probyn watched helplessly from his driveway as a gray sedan pulled up alongside Jaycee.  Someone inside yanked the girl into the car and sped off. She was never seen again -- until she walked into the Concord police station.

"I can't even sleep," Probyn said. "I'm anxious to find out where she's been and what she's been doing."

"I'm just really thrilled this is coming to an end and excited to find who did this and solve this case," Probyn said.

Probyn said he endured years of suspicion from FBI agents who believed he may have been involved in the abduction. He eventually lost hope that he would ever see his stepdaughter alive.

Lovell said investigators have been working the case consistently since she was abducted.

 "You bet it's a surprise. This is not the normal resolution to a kidnapping," he said.

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