Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:56 UK

Kidnap victim Dugard speaks out

family photo released by Carl Probyn shows his stepdaughter, Jaycee Lee Dugard who went missing in 1991.
Previous public photos of Jaycee Dugard showed her at age 11

US kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard has spoken publicly for the first time since she was discovered living with her alleged kidnappers after 18 years.

"I'm so happy to be back with my family," the online edition of People magazine quoted her as saying.

The first photo of her as she is now was also published online, showing her smiling with long brown hair.

Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy are accused of kidnapping Ms Dugard when she was 11. They deny the charges.

Angel and Starlit

They allegedly held her captive in their backyard for 18 years, during which time Ms Dugard had two children, believed to be fathered by Mr Garrido.

People magazine said Ms Dugard was now "living in seclusion" with her mother, Terry Probyn, 50, her sister, and her two daughters - Angel, 15, and Starlit, 11.

"I am so happy to be back with my family, nothing is more important than the unconditional love and support I have from them," she said, according to People.

Phillip and nancy Garrido
The Garridos deny charges of kidnapping and rape

She rides horses, cooks meals and is thinking of collaborating on a book, the magazine added.

Dugard family spokeswoman Erika Price Schulte told ABC's Good Morning America that the daughters were "bright, darling girls, who are curious and interested in the world around them".

She added: "It's amazing what Jaycee was able to do under those circumstances."

Ms Dugard was walking to catch a school bus from outside her home in South Lake Tahoe, close to the Nevada border, in 1991 when she was dragged into a car.

In August police spotted Mr Garrido, a convicted sex offender, as he handed out religious literature at the University of California Berkeley campus with two young children.

He was ordered to report to a parole officer, and he attended with his wife, the children and another woman who was discovered to be Ms Dugard.

Police uncovered a hidden compound at the Antioch home where Ms Dugard was alleged to have been kept, along with her two children.

Ms Schulte said Ms Dugard was prepared to "co-operate fully" with the police investigation.

Mr Garrido, 58, and his wife, 54, both deny kidnap, rape and false imprisonment.

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