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First Photo: Jaycee Dugard in People Magazine

jaycee-dugard-people-magazine-2We are getting our first glimpse of Jaycee Dugard, who was rescued in August after being kidnapped at the age of 11 and held for 18 years. Dugard appears on the cover of People magazine under the headline, “I’m so happy to be back with my family.” See the photo after the jump.

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From People magazine:

Now living in seclusion with her mom, Terry Probyn, 50, and the two daughters Angel, 15, and Starlit, 11 fathered by her alleged kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, Dugard, 29, has begun the slow process of recovery. She rides horses, cooks meals and is thinking of collaborating on a book.

“They live a surprisingly normal life, considering the circumstances,” says Terry’s stepmother, Joan Curry.

Although Dugard was not interviewed for the article, people close to her spoke at length with the magazine about her life since her rescue and about daughters Angel and Starlit. Curry told People that although Jaycee is doing well, everyone is aware of the challenges that are ahead of them. Dugard was raped repeatedly by Garrido and her daughters thought that she was their sister, not their mother. “Jaycee’s realistic,” Curry said. “She knows this is not going to be the easiest road that she’s ever traveled, but she is just very upbeat, giddy that she’s with her family.”

People‘s managing editor, Larry Hackett, told the Today show’s Matt Lauer that the family decided to allow publication of the photos and come forward with their story because of the intense media interest. “They thought, ‘We want to control this situation. Let’s do it now,’ ” Hackett said.

Hackett told Lauer that Jaycee looks well in the photos. “She looks radiant, she looks healthy, she looks happy,” he said.

Erika Schulte, a family spokeswoman for Probyn and Dugard, also spoke with Today and tells Ann Curry that Dugard is choosing to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. “She is never looking back,” Schulte said. “They are just taking things one day at a time. She wants to have a home with her girls, and a happy, quiet, normal life.”

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