August 27th, 2009
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Kidnapped child found 18 years later

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/08/27/california.missing.girl/art.fbi.raid.kgo.jpg caption="Officials search the property of Phillip Garrido, who police say kept an abducted girl in a shed for 18 years."]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight the body of Sen. Ted Kennedy lies in repose at the John F. Kennedy Library. Thousands of people streamed past his flag-draped casket to pay their final respects; the public viewing will continue tomorrow.

Earlier today, after a private mass at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, a military guard placed the senator’s casket in a hearse and the motorcade departed minutes later, snaking for 70 miles from Cape Cod into Boston, with crowds lining much of the route. The motorcade paused at Faneuil Hall, where the historic bell rang 47 times, once for each year Kennedy served in the Senate.

As the ceremonies marking Ted Kennedy’s life and accomplishments unfold, we’ll dig deeper into some of the questions his death has raised, including who will fill his Senate seat and who will carry on his work?

We’ll also have the latest on the stunning ending to an 18-year cold case. In 1991, 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped as she walked to her school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. Yesterday, an FBI agent called her parents to tell them she’d been found.

Authorities say a sex offender admitted he abducted Dugard, now 29. At a news conference just hours ago, we learned disturbing details. Since her kidnapping, Dugard has lived in her alleged abductor’s backyard, in a shed. Police say she gave birth to two children fathered by the sex offender. All of this played out in a residential neighborhood. How could no one notice what was going on in that backyard? That’s one of the questions we’ll be exploring tonight.

We’ll also talk to Ed Smart and his daughter Elizabeth. The Smarts lived through a similar nightmare, when Elizabeth was snatched from her bedroom in the middle of the night in 2002. She was found nine months later.

Anderson is in New Orleans tonight as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. Four years ago, the ferocious storm was hurtling toward the Gulf Coast. In the days that followed, chaos would erupt. As New Orleans fell apart, violence broke out. Vigilantes armed with guns roamed the streets. There were shootings, some of them fatal. The question tonight—why has it taken so long to investigate the killings? Wait until you hear what it took to get the wheels of justice turning.

See you at 10PM EST.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Sen. Ted Kennedy • The Buzz
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Bill Paine

    How did you folks come to a decision to air any of the interview with the kidnapper in jail? Giving this man a national forum is tabloid behavior. I have a great deal of respect for your show, Mr. Cooper, but that part of this piece cheapens your program. Think twice before you include something like this again.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  2. CK

    There is not a punishment horrific enough for that man and his wife. I pray for Jaycee Dugard, for her children, and for her parents and family.

    August 28, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  3. KIm

    Wonder why after all the years she walks in and decides to identify herself ? Sureal and hard to believe but okay ! Happy for her mom and dad with hope, for her to recover as well as chilldren peacefully.What do the psychologist say about this ?

    August 28, 2009 at 3:14 am |
  4. Mike Conway

    Anderson, i was the owner of k-MTN TV South lake Tahoe when Jaycee was kidnapped. From 30 minutes after her disappearance we got to know Terry Proban. She was a mother who said she would never give up and was a local avocat for missing children. We worked on video projects with her and the community and Terry never said no when asked for an interview. A great mom gets her child back, a wonderful day.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:45 am |
  5. tiffanycumberland

    My mine can't wrap around how someone can do this to someone.But also wonder why did take till she was 29 years old before letting somone know who she is. I know there is no telling what this poor girl now woman has been though.God bless her and her family.Love your show

    August 28, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  6. Sandy West

    It makes me sick to think you could campare Elizabeth Smart to Jaycee Dugard. Nine months, compared to 18 years. 18 years is a lifetime. You become a different person. There is nothing to compare to Smart and Dugard than being kidnapped and raped. This poor little girl is not the same person, child, or being she was at 11. A lifetime has passed her by. I'm very sorry for Ms. Smart, but 9 months is no comparison to 18 years, especially when giving advice.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  7. mara

    Anderson, you've just won the Larry King prize for stupid questions. There is no comparsion between Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee. How can you ask a young girl who was abducted and spent 9 months away from her family to give any creditible advise to someone who not only was a captive for 18 years but also had to endure rape and the birth of two children. Come on. It was painful to watch Elizabeth struggle trying to answer your inane questions. NO matter how bad her ordeal was, it is in no way comparable and to try to make it so diminishes what Jaycee went through.

    Get a grip Anderson...some relevance, please.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  8. kaimarsden

    i have done research with link with mk ultra and abducted children and here is more evidence admitted sailant admits mind control there are bigger powers at work with this evil abduction,from the power elite another case of lawrence adfmits this beffore his execution.when are the higher powers going to pay the price for their evils instead of acceptance of scapegoats.h1n1 another example of the evils occurring by the greater powers.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  9. jon R. Zemans

    I am concerned for the mental health of the young mother and the two children, especially the children. I don't think we should expect very much from them. What a shame!

    August 28, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  10. Elma Murray

    I was kidnapped when I was 4. My 19-year-old mother, all alone in Canada as an Irish immigrant, was powerless against her exhusband, a Latvian immigrant. Justice has never been served even though I brought it to the attention of the Pope, the United Nations, the Leaders of 3 countries, the R.C.M.P., and the Edmonton Police. Not enough evidence? I sport an approximately 2-inch scar on my tongue because I was punched out until I lost consciousness before I was raped – more than once. I was kept out of kindergarten because I had too many visible scars. My mother was denied access while this was going on. Finally, I insisted on a dna test in 2004. Lo and behold, there is 0% possibility that this man – a psychiatric nurse/airplane mechanic – is my father. I blew the whistle. No more trying to protect a man who I thought had a WWII syndrome. The story is long and my mother was dead by the time I found out the truth. Still, I laid complaints against him: kidnapping, unlawful confinement, physical abuse, sexual abuse, attempted murder. At least I got a file started. The authorities here treat it as historical – they have too many current situations to deal with. So, I was told. I need a fairy godmother!!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  11. Tony Ashkar

    Nothing but a slow painful death is good enough for the animal and his wife who did this.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  12. Maureen Schilder

    My heart goes out to these children & their families, whose lives were interupted;[Elizabeth Smart & now this woman, discovered so many years later. I am very concerned though, re: advice of Elizabeth's dear, loving father, to"'deal with the trauma later" & "when ready"' because I fear that the victims/children will feel pressure to "'pretend' everything is 'normal' when it is not. Studies [ Bessel van der Kolk; expert] in trauma stress show that healing & recovery is much improved if the trauma is discussed in depth & ASAP following the acute situation [reason we have debriefing now for our veteran's even before they return to civilian life; versus many years later when the damage is sometimes more permanent

    August 28, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  13. aldean gelhede

    Oh my god. How can this have happend? Why have we not heard about this? Its absolutely unbelieveable this can be true in our world today. This story , in my mind, should be the top, and i mean the top story we are talking about . There are so many questions,where does one begin? All I can think of is that child, who is now an adult, did not even have a childhood. And now she is a parent. Also, why have we not heard of the parents of this girl? Where have they been? I am in disbelief of the whole situation. By the way, this is my very first bog ever.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  14. Boots in Los Angeles

    Regarding Jaycee Lee Dugard, it doesn't strike me as shocking, only a sign of societal disconnect in our times that people continue to live next door to horrible things going on.

    What worries me most however, is what will happen to Jaycee and her kids. The story is horrifying, but more horrifying is a world which will forget all about this in a ridiculously short amount of time – and that society is so ill-equipped to provide the long term help such prisoners of abuse really need.

    There's a gap between medicine and therapy which is all about reintegration of traumatized people into society. The years robbed from Jaycee and her daughters will leave gaps emotional, educational, evidently medical and social. Therapy hits the emotional, they can see a doctor and be sent to school, but having missed out on being raised and socialized with your peers is something society (and the medical world) hasn't yet even begun grappling with.

    I hope this woman and her children are strong of heart and spirit. I hope her family is able to take her back and understand where she 'left' off and have the patience to "re-raise" her – and her kids. If so, bless them! My prayers to all concerned – it's a heartrending story.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  15. victoria

    thank god they found her i am so happy that she was reunited with her family. the MARRIED couple have to be very cold hearted to treat an eleven year that badly for 18 years and her 2 children. i feel horrible and hope they suffer the conseqenses. I couldnt even imagine not finishing school, nor having a 2 kids with a stanger. she has nothing to fall back on i send love and hope she can recover. she should get therepy and hopefully can recover !

    August 27, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  16. Leigh Ann Lingerfelt

    Why isn't anybody mentioning the fact that this poor victom has 2 children by the kidnapper? No matter what has happened she will have 2 beautiful children that will also have to live this horrific crime. It will be so hard for her to see this as ALL HORRIFIC when she had 2 beautiful children.....

    August 27, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  17. Debra

    I'm so happy that Jaycee & her daughters are free, but the rehab they will all need is unimagineable to me. Jaycee stopped learning at 11. Her children have never been to school. It is almost unbelieveable what they have ahead of them. The man accussed of this is in a jail cell talking about how he turned his life around......OK. He robbed that young woman of her innocence & childhood, and Jaycees' children have never had a childhood.

    Has anyone done the math? If Jaycee is 29 and her oldest is 15, she had that baby when she was 14! I can't think of a punishment severe enough for this man and his wife.

    God bless all three of these girls, and good luck to you all.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  18. John

    RIP Ted Kennedy. May God bless and comfort your loved ones in their time of sorrow..

    August 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  19. Ron Tillotson

    Thousands of Northern California and Northern Nevada residents are relieved to hear that Jaycee Dugard has been found, and found alive. That's the good news. So many of us were stunned when she was kidnapped and then continuously saddened to learn no progress was made trying to find her. In another related note, please tell the female reporter I just saw on your program how to pronounce the name of Nevada. She said "nuhvahda" where the "vah" sounded like the "a" in "ah!" The first "a" in Nevada is pronounced like the "a" in "at." We all can learn something new everyday.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  20. Beth Johnson St. Paul, MN

    Who let this animal out of his cage without a leash?

    Dugard has a history as a sexual offender. Why wasn't law enforcement checking up on him?

    August 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  21. Debra

    I'm so happy that Jaycee & her 2 daughters are free, but the rehab they will all need is unimaginable to me. Jaycee stopped learning at 11. Her children have never been to school.........the whole thing is unbelieveable! And that "nut case" talking about turning his life around. Yeah, I'd like to turn his neck around. He robbed that young woman of her innocence & childhood, and Jaycees' children have never had a childhood.

    Has anyone bothered to do the math? If Jaycee is 29 and her oldest is 15......she had that baby when she was 14! God bless all three of these girls, and good luck to you. My prayers are with you

    August 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  22. Sandy

    Did I just hear that Garegos is defending the man that abducted Jaycee?

    August 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  23. Alex

    I live in Antioch, and was shocked when I saw this story on the news. There where quiet a few helicopters in the air in the morning, but I thought nothing of it at the time. It's a sad fate, what the poor girl went through. It's especially worse for the children, who know no other life and can't even begin to imagine how much different it really is. I'm strongly averse to the idea of capital punishment, but what this man did deserves no pity.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  24. Lynn Chapman

    Anderson – Please stop showing the interview with the kidnapper and child rapist. He thinks whatever his big thoughts are are so "mindblowing" – let him tell it to his fellow inmates – don't give him a platform please please please.


    August 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  25. joe s

    Maybe if the police were not so busy arresting pot smokers maybe they would have more time to catch crimes like this. What about the many children still missing????

    August 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  26. Lisa Simoneaux

    Goodnight all.

    August 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  27. Jeanine

    Welcome home Jaycee Dugard. This is big hope for all those who have lost their babies to abduction. Keep this story on the forefront. Remind the public to be observant!!!!

    August 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  28. Shola

    I am saddened about this unfortunate incident. I am however glad that she has now been found and reunited again with her family. Her parents need to make sure that they get her a very good therapist so that she can get her life back on tract again. As for the pervert, he should have never been released from jail only a couple of years after committing a very serious crime like forcible rape. He should have been put away for a very long time and perhaps, forever. If that had happened, we wouldn't be watching this incident on TV because this crime against this innocent young girl would never have happened. I blame our soft justice system in this country for not being thougher on crimes like this. It is a retarded concept and defies common sense that this pervert was ever allowed free on the street after his initial sex crime. This should be a wake up call that our justice system needs to be revamped. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach

    August 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  29. Ron, West Coast

    After all those years , why did she not try to contact the police, or anyone about her " captors "..... How old was she when she had her first child ?........ Could it be, that she became a willing participant ?

    August 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  30. Lori rogge

    So sorry to hear about senator Edward kennedy may he rest in peace

    August 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  31. Cathy R,McCluskey

    Don't you think this girl has been brain washed and it will take alot
    of therapy for her to even begin her new life, little own put her past
    behind her. I think her kidnappers totally changed her way of thinking
    or else she would have tried to run long ago.

    thank you,


    August 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  32. Carol Hawthorne

    A couple of weeks ago I read a book by Elizabeth Scott called "Living Dead Girl" a fictionalized account of a 10-year-old girl who is abducted by a pedophile and kept as his sex slave for 5 years. The first thing I thought when I heard about Ms. Dugard was, "Oh, My! It's just like that book "Living Dead Girl! I can't believe that this can really happen and no one notices anything!"

    Young girls must be educated to let them know that they must NEVER trust anyone (especially a man) that they don't know, and that if they are abducted, that they shouldn't believe their abductor's threats of what will happen if they tell. Thank God Ms. Dugard is still alive. My prayers are with her and her family.

    August 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  33. Shawn Hampleton

    Anderson, I am so surprised by your reporting today on the women abducted for 18 years. I thought how dare you compare this woman missing for 18 years to Ms. Smart. Ms. Smart can no where even try to depict this womens feelings after she had been gone for 18 YEARS cmpared to her 9 month captivity.

    August 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  34. Tricia


    August 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm |

    Way to catch on to the story half a day later, CNN. You're on top of it!

    August 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  36. Anne H

    As a survivor, I know it will take decades of therapy and patience for JC and the 2 chilrden to reassimilate. Any success, however limited, is a victory. Look at how much the profession has learned since Steven Stayner's case. Dn't be fooled by Elisabeth Smart's case. She has found peace but she does not live in mainstream society. She lives in a patriarchal culture based on repression and obedience. It will take a lot of work to bring these 3 survivors to be free living adults with healthy relationships.

    August 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  37. Annie Kate

    I'm really looking forward to the show tonight. I've watched the coverage of the Kennedy funeral stuff off and on all day. The saddest part was seeing them carry his coffin out of the house for the very last time – he loved that place so much and its hard to think he will now never be back. It gave substance to the idea that the "great lion of the Senate has roared his last".

    So neat they found that young woman who was abducted when she was 11 and that she is alive and has 2 children. I'm sure her mother is on cloud 9 after this amount of time and I daresay their reuniting will be the most intensely emotional event either will have or ever will experience. I hope more missing children are still alive and will be found. Hope springs eternal.

    August 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm |