As the world is reeling over the news about Jaycee Dugard, Dugard's stepfather, who witnessed her abduction and was a longtime suspect, said he was overwhelmed that she turned up after all the family did to find her.
"It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," a tearful Carl Probyn, 60, told The Associated Press at his home in Orange.
Probyn told CBS' "Early Show" this morning that he spoke to Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, late Thursday after she reunited with Dugard in Contra Costa County and everyone was "doing great."
"I think they're pretty happy," he said, noting six people were present at the reunion — Jaycee Dugard, now 29, her two daughters,her sister, who was 1 when she was kidnapped, her mother and another relative.
In interviews on NBC, ABC and CBS this morning, Probyn said the most surprising thing to Terry Probyn was that Jaycee looks very young, almost like she did when she taken.
Probyn also said Dugard felt terribly guilty for bonding with her captor, and her family felt troubled by learning the facts of how she was forced to live for 18 years.
Dugard became the poster child for missing children when she was snatched from the street just blocks from her home near South Lake Tahoe in 1991, a blond, blue-eyed 11-year-old in a pink top and pink pants, walking to a bus stop to get to school on a warm June morning.
El Dorado County authorities booked Garrido and his wife into El Dorado County Jail on Thursday afternoon on kidnapping and sex abuse charges. Charges are expected to be filed mid-day today and they are scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m.
Dugard and her two daughters lived in an elaborate backyard compound of sheds, tents and outbuildings with outside locks — one soundproofed. Hidden behind a fence, trees and tarps, they were undetectable even to the parole agents charged with checking on Garrido, a registered sex offender, authorities said.
They had rudimentary, camp like bath facilities. Power was supplied by electrical cord.
"None of the children had ever gone to school or been to a doctor," said El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar, who fought back tears as he announced the discovery. "They were kept in complete isolation."
Dugard and her two daughters, ages 15 and 11, spent most of their lives in the hidden backyard, Kollar said.
"You could walk through the backyard... and never know there was another set of living circumstances," Kollar said.
One of several high-profile kidnappings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dugard's disappearance devastated Probyn and his wife, who later separated. For the first 10 years, Probyn said, his wife would take a week off work at Christmas and on the anniversary of the abduction and spend the time crying at home.
The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car. Many assumed Dugard was one of the missing children who would never be coming home.
Mercury News wire services contributed to this report. Contact Linda Goldston at email@example.com or 408-920-5862.