South Lake Tahoe, Calif. — The town where Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped 18 years ago celebrated her astounding reappearance with a parade Sunday while she remained secluded with her family in Northern California.
Dugard’s former classmates and teachers were among those who took part in the one-mile march along South Lake Tahoe’s main drag to celebrate her safe return. She was snatched from a school bus stop in the resort town in 1991 at the age of 11.
“We just want her to know that we love her and support her,” said Jillian Broadfoot, 30, who attended Meyers Elementary School with Dugard at the time. “I think Tahoe lost its innocence with the kidnapping, and hopefully her return restores a little faith here.”
South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Terry Daniels estimated 2,000 people took part in the parade and another 500 people joined them at a rally afterward. Most wore pink attire or held pink balloons in recognition of Dugard’s favorite color. The parade route was lined by pink ribbons on trees.
Some participants yelled out, “Jaycee, we love you.” Others wore pink T-shirts with the message, “Jaycee, Tahoe (Hearts) You.”
Meghan Dorris, 28, of Stateline, was among Dugard classmates who started a pink ribbon campaign when she was she abducted to show their hope for her safe return.
“It really haunted us over the years, and I’m just excited to get her back,” Dorris said.