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Kidnapped girl's kids thought she was their sister

The daughters of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard thought she was their sister and were never told she was abducted by their father when she was 11, a Dugard family representative said on Tuesday.

world Updated: Sep 02, 2009 13:01 IST

The daughters of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard thought she was their sister and were never told she was abducted by their father when she was 11, a Dugard family representative said on Tuesday.

"Jaycee had to explain to them, like two days ago, that she had been kidnapped. They didn't even know that," Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, told broadcaster ABC. "They are upset about this, because that's their father and he's in jail."

Dugard and her daughters, 11 and 15, were reunited with her family last week and are undergoing close psychological counselling as they try to adjust to freedom.

Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 in 1991 and kept in isolation for 18 years. Police say she was repeatedly raped by her captor and bore him two daughters. Phillip Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy, 54, pleaded not guilty on Friday to 28 charges of kidnapping, rape and conspiracy.

"It's step by step, it's like being on Mars," said Probyn. "This is a brand new situation, and it's pretty remarkable what they have to face. It's going to take a long time."

He explained that the girls were led to believe that Jaycee was their sister.

"They didn't realise she had been captured. I think they are OK, but they were attached to this guy, and they cried when this happened," Probyn said. "The girls are smart. They are intelligent. They're shy and clingy, but they're smart."

Police said Tuesday that searches of the properties owned and managed by Garrido did not reveal any evidence linking him to a spate of unsolved murders in the late 1990s.

"Aside from a few items that will require further forensic examination before they can be completely excluded, we did not locate any evidence to connect the Garridos to the unsolved cases," a police official was quoted as saying by local media.