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Locals learn from Dugard kidnap case

Clark County child abuse and prevention program attracts 160 people.

A million things run through Terry Probyn’s mind when she thinks about her daughter’s kidnapping.

She wished she would have kissed her daughter goodbye that day. She wishes the police would have made the connection between Jaycee Dugard’s disappearance and a similar case in South Lake Tahoe.

But mostly she wishes it didn’t take 18 years for her daughter to finally come home.

“She suffered and I suffered right along with her, and for 18 hellish years, I begged and I pleaded, I cried, I ranted, I raved,” Probyn said. “But the most important thing I did in all of this was I kept Jaycee in my heart.”

Jaycee Dugard was abducted in 1991 at the age of 11 while waiting for the school bus. She was held by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in a makeshift shed in their Antioch backyard, where she gave birth to two children conceived by rape.

Probyn shared her experience with a group of about 160 law enforcement and child advocacy officials Monday as part of a workshop for National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. The event was sponsored by the Clark County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and held at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

During Dugard’s captivity, Garrido’s home was visited by parole officers, and neighbors called the sheriff’s office to report children were camping in the backyard. But it wasn’t until the University of California, Berkeley, did a background check on Garrido and the campus special events coordinator reported her suspicions to his parole officer that Dugard was discovered. Many times, Probyn said, her daughter could have been found.

“We all have to ask ourselves, does this make sense? Does this feel right? What am I missing here,” she said.

Probyn spoke through tears during much of her presentation. It’s her heartfelt message that CAC Director Wendy Holt said she hopes will stick with people.

“There may be just small indicators as Terry pointed out that give you what you need in a case,” she said. “If (we) see something, call children services, call law enforcement and let them be the ones to decide.”

The event is one of several the CAC is holding this month.

On Friday, everyone is asked to wear blue to raise awareness about all forms of child abuse and its prevention. The center is also holding a Victims’ Rights Fair in coordination with several other agencies. The free event will feature information and entertainment from 1-4 p.m. April 21 at Springfield High School.

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