Missing girl ‘found 18 years on’

Jaycee Lee Dugard was said to have been grabbed off the street in 1991.A woman who walked into a US police station claiming she was kidnapped 18 years ago is likely to be telling the truth, police in California say.

DNA tests were being carried out, local police said, with officers almost certain that the results would back up the woman’s story.

Jaycee Lee Dugard disappeared in 1991, aged 11, from outside her Lake Tahoe home, apparently taken by two people.

Two people are now said to have been taken into custody, US reports say.

Police in California are due to hold a news conference later on Thursday, at which it is widely expected that they will formally confirm that Ms Dugard is alive and well.

Lt Les Lovell of the sheriff’s department at El Dorado, California, said a woman walked into a local police station and announced that she was Jaycee Lee Dugard.

“We’re 99% sure it’s her,” Mr Lovell told the Associated Press, adding that her family had been contacted and a meeting was being arranged.

Ms Dugard’s stepfather, Carl Probyn, told ABC News in the US that her family was now convinced that she had been found.

“I had personally given up hope,” he said, saying that he just wanted to find the people responsible.

Mr Probyn was watching on 10 June, 1991, as the young girl was apparently taken away by two unidentified people.

The incident occurred as she was walking from her home to a school bus stop in the southern Lake Tahoe town of Meyers.

Her stepfather has described how a stranger drove up and grabbed Ms Dugard, bundling her into a grey car even as she tried to resist by kicking and screaming.

Mr Probyn believed a man and woman were in the vehicle. Despite several false reports of sightings in the intervening years, Ms Dugard was never seen again.

But the FBI has now assured his wife that her daughter is safe and that the men she was with are in custody, Mr Probyn told ABC News.

“She sounds like she’s okay,” he said.

“She had a conversation with my wife and she remembers things. I hope she’s been well treated this entire 18 years.”

Source: BBC