If you lived here in 1991, you probably remember the disappearance of Jaycee Lee Dugard; the efforts to find her were widespread and persistent. It’s hard for me to believe it was 18 years ago. When my husband told me he’d heard she was found, I knew immediately who it was. At the same time, I’m sure it has seemed like 18 million years to Jaycee and her parents.
I wasn’t going to write anything about the case at first because I didn’t want to invade the family’s privacy or seem to be exploiting their experience. The more I think about it, however, the more I feel we are all part of Jaycee’s extended family. We all got that kick-in-the-stomach feeling when the alarm went out about her disappearance. We all watched the news and read the fliers and kept an eye out for her and the kidnappers. We all imagined what had happened to her and worried.
Our sons were slightly older than Jaycee at the time of her kidnapping, so it was easy for me to identify with her mother’s emotions. It was also easy for me to identify with Jaycee and her reaction to whatever was going on. I thought about her every day for many years and have never forgotten her.
Those of us who shared the family’s experience in one way or another in 1991 are thrilled to learn along with Jaycee and her parents that the horrifying story has a mostly happy ending. I think we all realize damage done by the kidnappers will take time to repair, and I’m sure we’re all willing to give them time and space to try to recover from the incredible experience. We hope to share in more good news as the detail emerge.