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Held captive for 18 yrs, woman tries to heal and feel

world Updated: Aug 26, 2010 16:11 IST
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A young woman in the United States, who was held captive for 18 years by a paedophile who fathered her two daughters, is still trying hard to recuperate from the mental ordeal as she tries to appreciate 'fresh air and open spaces.'

A year after she was rescued in August 2009, kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters went on a holiday in northern California. Jaycee, 30, who was imprisoned in a makeshift complex of shabby tents in the backyard of the sex offender, was spotted in Antioch town.

This time,howeverm, staying in a tent represented not untold misery and confinement for her, but a new chance to stand under an open sky, breathe fresh air, to enjoy life -- and to relish freedom. Jaycee and daughters Starlet, 16, and Angel, 11, were joined by a female friend.

The spot was only 96 km from the house in Antioch where she was imprisoned by paedophile Phillip Garrido, 59, after he snatched her when she was just 11.

Though Jaycee and her daughters are still undergoing intensive psychological treatment to help them recover from their trauma, her smiles were a heart-warming testament to the progress she is making. She is close to her children, and likes to keep them close.

The last 12 months have been a long and tough road and it will take time for the scars to heal. Despite being awarded 13 million pounds from the state of California over the bungled monitoring of known rapist Garrido, Jaycee and her daughters lead a humble life. They live with Jaycee's mother Terry, 51, who has been very supportive and caring, in a quiet rural corner of California not far from their holiday spot.

Garrido and his wife Nancy, 55, are awaiting trial on kidnap and rape charges. They've been jailed since Jaycee and the two daughters she bore Garrido resurfaced a year ago.