London: A young woman in the US, held captive for 18 years by a paedophile who fathered her two daughters, is still trying hard to recoup from the ordeal as she appreciates "the fresh air and open spaces".
A year after she was rescued in August 2009, kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters went on a holiday in northern California, The Sun reported on Thursday.
Jaycee, 30, who was a prisoner in a makeshift compound of shabby tents in the backyard of the sex beast, was spotted in Antioch town.
This time, staying in a tent represented not misery and confinement for her, but an opportunity to breathe fresh air, to enjoy life -- and to relish freedom. Jaycee and daughters Starlet, 16, and Angel, 11, were joined by a female friend.
The spot was only 96 km from the house in Antioch where she was kept by paedophile Phillip Garrido, 59, after he snatched her when she was just 11.
Though Jaycee and the girls are still having intensive psychological treatment to help them recover from their ordeal, her smiles were a heart-warming testament to the progress she is making.
"It`s incredible -- she is such a happy young woman. She really appreciates the fresh air and open spaces as you would expect from someone who was held captive for so long," a source told The Sun.
"And Jaycee and her kids have an incredible bond. She is a wonderful mother."
"The last 12 months have been a long road and clearly there`s still a long way to go," the source said.
Jaycee and her daughters lead a humble life despite being awarded GBP 13 million from the state of California to head off a lawsuit over the bungled monitoring of known rapist Garrido.
They live with Jaycee`s mother Terry, 51, in a quiet rural corner of California not far from the scene of the holiday.
The source said: "Jaycee has been depending on her mum for a lot of support. The fact that she was able to go away without her is a clear sign she is making good progress."
Garrido and his wife Nancy, 55, are awaiting trial on kidnap and rape charges.
The Northern California couple has been jailed since Jaycee and the two daughters she bore Garrido resurfaced a year ago.