Sacto 9-1-1
August 26, 2009
Update: Two people reportedly held as family prepares to meet long-missing daughter


Jaycee Lee Dugard, an 11-year-old girl abducted from her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, has been found alive in the Bay Area and two people reportedly have been detained in connection with the case.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office this morning confirmed the identity of the 29-year-old woman who walked into a Bay Area police station claiming to be Dugard.

Further, in an extraordinary sequence of events today, federal and local law agencies renewed their focus on the 18-year-old mystery surrounding what happened to the blond, blue-eyed girl who was abducted while walking to school June 10, 1991.

Reports out of the Bay Area indicated a man and a woman were in custody in Martinez and that a search warrant was being executed at a home in Antioch.

El Dorado County sheriff's officials were preparing to release details on the case at a 3 p.m. press conference, but the girl's stepfather confirmed to The Bee early today that Jaycee had resurfaced and was being reunited with her mother today.

Carl Probyn, Jaycee's stepfather, said his wife and daughter were flying to Northern California to meet Dugard and that his wife, Terry, spoke with the young woman by phone Wednesday night.

The Probyns, who are separated, live in Southern California, Carl in Orange County and Terry in Riverside. Terry Probyn and their daughter, Shayna, 19, boarded a 6 a.m. flight to the Bay Area to meet with Dugard, Carl Probyn said.

Probyn said he is elated.

"I'm just pleased that she is alive and well," said Probyn, a 60-year-old Orange County wallpaper contractor.

Probyn, who has yet to speak with his stepdaughter, said he believes suspects who might have been involved with the abduction are in custody.

Dugard's disappearance prompted a massive search, nationwide publicity and one of the largest police investigations in the region.

Dugard was on her way to school when authorities said she was pulled into a stranger's car just a block away from her South Lake Tahoe home.

Probyn said he heard her scream and saw a man and a woman drive his stepdaughter away in a gray two-tone sedan.

Despite several false sightings, Dugard was never seen again.

One person in the car was described as a 30-year-old woman with long, dark hair. Jaycee was last seen dressed in a pink windbreaker, white T-shirt and pink stretch pants.

The stepfather said Shayna Probyn called Wednesday about 4 p.m. and said, "Mom has something to say to you. Are you sitting down?"

His wife told him: "They found Jaycee. She is alive."

The couple then cried for about 10 minutes as they spoke to each other. Probyn said agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called his wife at work and told her that they had Jaycee. Thinking it was a joke, she told the caller she did not appreciate what she thought was a ruse.

The FBI then put the young woman on the telephone.

"My wife said that who she spoke to remembers everything," Carl Probyn said. "My wife and Jaycee were joined at the hip."

He said he followed media accounts of a young woman walking into an Antioch police station and then was taken to the Concord Police station.

Probyn was the last person to see Jaycee on the day she disappeared. He took four lie detector tests and endured suspicion of involvement in the abduction for nearly two decades.

"The FBI put me through the wringer, being questioned and having people say the stepdad did something," he said. "I have been kind of the villain these past 18 years."

Probyn said he has always had a spotless record.

"I'm an Vietnam vet and have never spent a day in my life in jail," he said. "My last speeding ticket was in 1977."

Probyn said he eventually lost hope that they would ever see his stepdaughter alive.

"Then you pray that you get her body back so there is an ending," he said. "To have this happen where we get her back alive, and where she remembers things from the past, and to have people in custody is a triple win. It's like winning the Lotto."

Terry Probyn took a 6 a.m. flight to meet her daughter somewhere in Northern California. Carl Probyn said he wants his wife and their daughter, Shayna, to have time with Jaycee before he meets her again.

"It's a shock for Shayna to meet the half-sister she never knew," he said.

Probyn said that about three weeks ago, Shayna told him that two sheriff's deputies, presumably from El Dorado County, who work on cold cases, had visited his wife. It was his understanding that they were going to re-open Jaycee's case.

"To have this happen, where she walks into a police station, is really a miracle to get her back," said Probyn. "And she sounds like she is doing okay. I don't know if she is married. I don't know if a cult took her, or if a couple who didn't have kids took her. I'll find out today all these answers."

Bee researcher Pete Basofin contributed to this report.

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