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Jaycee Dugard diary: ‘I want to be free’

Journal entries by a California girl who went missing for 18 years shed an eerie light on her relationship with her alleged kidnappers.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

New court documents give an eerie glimpse of Jaycee Dugard's 18 years in captivity at the hands of alleged kidnappers, with diary entries by her painting a picture of growing despair.

"It feels like I'm sinking. I'm afraid I want control of my life ... this is supposed to be my life to do with what I like ... but once again he has taken it away," Dugard writes in a July 5, 2004, entry. "How many times is he allowed to take it away from me? I'm afraid he doesn't see how the things he says makes me a prisoner."

The journal entries are included in court documents filed Thursday by the El Dorado County district attorney to oppose a motion by Phillip Garrido's lawyer for information on the current whereabouts of Dugard, who is in seclusion.

Dugard was abducted from the street where she lived in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on June 10, 1991, when she was 11 years old. Prosecutors allege Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, kept the girl in their hidden backyard compound, where she was sexually assaulted and imprisoned for the next 18 years. Garrido allegedly fathered two children by Dugard during her ordeal.

Dugard, now, 29, was found by police in late August. She and her children have been staying at a secret location, and prosecutors say she does not want any further contact from the Garridos.

Acting as a family?Public defender Susan Gellman has asked the district attorney to provide photos of Dugard's daughters, videos of interviews with the girls, and permission to talk with Dugard in preparation for trial.

Gellman's court request claims the Garridos, Dugard and her two daughters acted as a family in recent years.

"They took vacations together; they went to the library together; they ran a family business together," the defense motion said. "The children home schooled. They kept pets and had a garden. They took care of ailing family members together. They had special names for each other."

However, the district attorney's response filed Thursday paints a different picture, saying Dugard and her children were not part of a "family," but rather captives.

Phillip Garrido is seen with his court appointed attorney, Susan Gellman, during his arraignment on 29 felony counts stemming from the abduction of Jaycee Dugard,11, in 1991, in the El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2009. Garrido pleaded not guilty on charges including forcible abduction, rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Rich Pedroncelli / AP

'I want to be free'The court documents contain several journal entries that prosecutors say exemplify the Garridos' attempt to gain trust and control over Dugard.

On July 16, 1993, two years after her abduction, Dugard wrote: “I got [a cat] for my birthday from Phil and Nancy … they did something for me that no one else would do for me, they paid 200 dollars just so I could have my own kitten.”

On Sept. 5 of that year, she wrote: “I don’t want to hurt him … sometimes I think my very presence hurts him … so how can I ever tell him I want to be free. I will never cause him pain if it’s in my power to prevent it. FREE.”

Prosecutors contend that even after his arrest, Garrido has continued to try to exert control over Dugard. As recently as Jan. 28, according to court documents, Garrido's attorney sent a letter to her that stated, “Mr. Garrido has asked me to convey that he does not harbor any ill will toward [Dugard] or the children and loves them very much.”

Gellman has also asked that Garrido and his wife, Nancy, be allowed to meet in the jail while they prepare for trial. That motion is scheduled to be heard in court Feb. 26.