Aunt: Niece kidnapped 18 years ago 'remembers all of us'

3:59 PM, Sep 3, 2009   |    comments
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LOS ANGELES -- Jaycee Dugard remembers her family and is enjoying getting to know her younger sister, who was a baby when Dugard was kidnapped 18 years ago, her aunt said Thursday.

Tina Dugard spoke to reporters at the FBI's Los Angeles office, describing her niece's reunion with her mother and sister.

"The smile on my sister's face was as wide as the sea. Her oldest daughter is finally home," Tina Dugard said.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido have pleaded not guilty to kidnap, rape and imprisonment charges related to Dugard's 1991 abduction from South Lake Tahoe. Police say Garrido fathered Dugard's two daughters and lived with them in a backyard encampment of tents and sheds in Antioch.

Tina Dugard said her niece's daughters, ages 11 and 15, appeared to be bright and educated, even though they did not attend school.

"Jaycee did a truly amazing job with the limited resources and education that she herself had, and we are so proud of her," Dugard said.

The family's location has been a closely guarded secret since the 29-year-old woman reappeared last week. She was 11 when she was allegedly kidnapped.

Tina Dugard said the family has been spending time "in a secluded place," reconnecting and getting to know each other again.

"Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we've spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company," Dugard said.

Tina Dugard took no questions from reporters and did not comment on the investigation into her niece's abduction. A spokeswoman for the Dugard family, Erika Price Schulte, said they would have no further public comment for now.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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