Jaycee Dugard to keep location a secret to protect daughters

Jaycee Dugard to keep location a secret to protect daughters

Kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard plans to remain in hiding until her daughters are mature enough to understand what happened to them, she said.

Ms Dugard, 31, and her two children aged 14 and 17, have been living at an undisclosed California location since being found by authorities in 2009 - 18 years after she was abducted from a bus stop in South Lake Tahoe.

She was held by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in their back garden, where she gave birth to two children conceived by rape.

In an interview shown last night, Ms Dugard said she had spent the last three years healing and experiencing life with her family.

"I want my girls to have a normal life as much as possible," she told ABC News' Diane Sawyer. "I feel like on some things I have to do it a little bit differently ... not be recognised ... for their sake.

"I think in time as they get older, they'll know how to deal with it better, and that would be the time that we would come out."

Ms Dugard, who made her first public appearance at a star-studded New York awards ceremony on Friday, has been working to build the JAYC Foundation, which aims to support families dealing with abduction and other tragedies.

She wrote a best-selling memoir last year, 'A Stolen Life', which recounts her years in captivity.

Phillip Garrido is serving a 431-year prison sentence, and Nancy Garrido 36 years to life, after both struck plea deals on kidnapping and rape charges.

The state of California paid Ms Dugard a $20m (€15.23m) settlement under which officials acknowledged repeated mistakes were made by parole agents responsible for monitoring Phillip Garrido, who was a convicted rapist.

When asked if either of the Garridos had tried to contact her. Ms Dugard replied: "No, not at all, which is fine with me."

Ms Sawyer then asked if she had days when she did not think about what happened to her.

Ms Dugard replied, "Oh, sure. It's not with me every day."

Asked if anyone had caught her eye romantically, she said: "No, no, I just, I can't go there yet. It's too soon."

Ms Dugard was honoured at the awards ceremony held by fashion designer and humanitarian Diane von Furstenberg. She was introduced by Oprah Winfrey, another honouree of the night.

"Jaycee Dugard, I am so proud of you, your courage, your ability to press onward toward the future and toward a more victorious life for yourself and for using your courage, your strength, and your power to show the world that you care," Winfrey said.

During her first trip to New York, Ms Dugard told Ms Sawyer that she took in a Broadway play, admired the skyscrapers and enjoyed walking down the street among the crowds to get pizza.

"Just being free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it," she said. "That's the whole learning process to, to know that you can."

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