On the 10th of June, 1991, an 11-year-old girl named Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted from her California bus stop. Her stepfather watched in horror as she was pulled into an unmarked van. While he made every effort to locate his daughter’s kidnappers, Dugard would be subject to a harrowing eighteen years of sexual abuse in the captivity of Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy.
During this time, Dugard gave birth to two daughters of her own. In 2009, Garrido and his wife were finally apprehended, leading to the release of all three young women. Dugard has been outspoken about her experience, but what became of her daughters?
Jaycee Lee Dugard Birthed Two Daughters By Her Captor
While in captivity, Dugard was stowed away in a series of huts and tents in the Garridos’ backyard, where she was repeatedly subject to brutal sexual assaults by Garrido. After over two years in captivity, one of these assaults resulted in a pregnancy. Unable to go to a hospital, Dugard was forced to give birth inside a tent with no medical assistance—at only 14 years old.
Dugard named her daughter Angel, and described the moment of her birth in an interview with ABC: “Then I saw her. She was … beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. I had somebody that was mine, and I wasn’t alone. I knew I could never let anything happen to her. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but I did.”
Three years later, Dugard gave birth to a second daughter, Starlit. She continued, “I had a second person to love, and to love me—and maybe another little piece of my mom to hold onto.”
Her Daughters Helped Police Finally Free Dugard
Angel and Starlit were raised to believe that Dugard was their sister and that the Garridos were their biological parents, but this didn’t stop Dugard from putting her heart and soul into her daughters’ upbringings.
Dugard did everything she could to teach the girls what she knew about the world despite only having received a fifth-grade education. The young mother set up the backyard compound as a homeschool and conducted daily lessons with the girls covering reading, history, math, and more.
In 2009, Phillip Garrido took Angel and Starlit on a visit to the University of California, Berkeley. By this time, the girls were young teens, and their behavior on the outing set off alarm bells for employees of the university.
Luckily, the police were called, which eventually led to justice and freedom for Dugard and her daughters. While this was a joyous moment for Dugard, her daughters struggled due to the complex emotional connection they felt with Garrido. In fact, it was reported that they cried tears of fear and sadness during their release.
Where Are Jaycee Lee Dugard’s Daughters Today?
Angel’s age is believed to be 28 as her exact date of birth is unknown or unshared (it is noted to be in August 1994). Starlit’s birthday is noted as November 13, 1997, making her 25 years old today.
They keep most of their lives private, and understandably so, but Dugard describes them both as “resilient” and “loving,” sharing that they were both attending college as of 2016. Dugard also shared that neither of them wish to have any contact with Garrido at this time, but if they chose to in the future, she wouldn’t stop them.
“I would hope they wouldn’t want to, but as long as he’s behind bars, and they’re safe, then I wouldn’t hinder their ability to make that choice.”
And while all three women are surprisingly well-adjusted, they still look back on their old lives from time to time—though they manage to see the best in things and remain grateful for the outcome of their story. In another interview with ABC, Dugard shared that the three even have a tale they tell each other when they do reflect on the past.
“Once upon a time, there was a mom and two daughters, and they lived with a crazy person for a really long time. And then they came out of the backyard, and there [were] ups and there [were] downs, and they met a whole lot of amazing people and they lived their life.”