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Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard finally opens up about her being kidnapped and held in captivity for 18 years in her first interview since escaping from Phillip and Nancy Garrido two years ago.
Dugard, who sat down for an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer airing Sunday, was kidnapped by the Garridos while walking to school in 1991 at age 11. [Watch Sawyer talk about the interview on ABC’s The View below.]
Dugard, who said she remember every detail of that day, including what she was wearing (all pink, kitty T-shirt). Phillip Garrido used a stun gun to shock her; she tried to hide in the bushes to no avail.
When she was taken, she reveals, she was thinking about her mother, who was running late and didn’t have a chance to kiss her daughter goodbye.
While in captivity, she was handcuffed and raped, giving birth to two girls. She also was forbidden to speak or write her own name and was forced to live in a backyard compound.
Dugard, 31, told Sawyer that the sound of the compound doors being locked still haunts her.
Just before she was taken, Dugard said, the last thing she touched was something sticky, which turned out to be a pinecone.
After she and her daughters were freed, she began asking everyone to bring her pinecones, which she had begun to associate with her freedom.
“Back then, [the pinecone] was the last thing I touched,” she says. “You know, the last grip on me. Now, it’s — it’s a symbol of hope and new beginnings. And that — there is life after something tragic.”
She now wears a pinecone symbol around her neck.
While being held captive, Dugard said, she constantly thought of her mother. Now, she added, she doesn’t take anything for granted and still marvels at the freedom she has.
“I can walk in the next room and see my mom,” Dugard said. “Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow, it’s unbelievable, truly.”
Her mother, Terry Probyn, told ABC News that she never gave up hope.
“I knew she was out there somewhere. … I held onto her and didn’t let go. I couldn’t let go,” she says. “And my heart got ripped out and that huge hole couldn’t be filled by anyone but her. I just hung on.”
Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years in prison last month; Nancy Garrido is serving 36 years to life.
Dugard also has written a new memoir, A Stolen Life.
The interview will air in a special two-hour edition of “Primetime” at 9 p.m. Sunday.
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