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Jaycee Family's "Uncontainable Happiness"

Jaycee Dugard's family is filled with unbridled joy and just focusing on the "here and now" -- not the "darkness" of Jaycee's case -- according to the reporter who interviewed Jaycee's aunt this week.

Police say Jaycee, 29, was held captive and repeatedly raped in sheds and tents in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's Antioch, Calif. home. Authorities say Phillip snatched Jaycee off the streets of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 18 years ago. Jaycee and her two daughters, 15 and 11, both of whom police say were fathered by Garrido, were freed last week.

Greg Hardesty, a reporter for the Orange County Register, landed the exclusive itnerview with Tina Dugard, the sister of Jacyee's mother, Terry Probyn. In it, Tina describes the emotional reunion of Jaycee, her daughters, Probyn, Tina, and other family members.

"The Early Show" aired long portions of the interview Friday, then co-anchor Harry Smith spoke to Hardesty.

Hardesty told Smith that, "Given the horrific details of the case, I was expecting some of the darkness and some of the horror of what we know about the case to be apparent in my interactions with her. And what I took away from her was just this overwhelming sense of joy that for me as a reporter was unprecedented. She was uncontainable happiness. And that surprised me."

Hardesty says Tina gave the impression Jaycee is a wonderful mother to her two daughters, and "Tina attributed a lot of that to Jaycee's mother. Tina lived with Jaycee's mother for about the last ten years, and she has another daughter, who's 19 and is a wonderful mother, and so I think some of the parenting obviously rubbed off on Jaycee, and she was a good parent to her girls.

The family is "focusing on the here and now," Hardesty continued. "Obviously, moving forward, there's some serious challenges that all three of them are gonna have to face, there's counseling that they're obviously going to have to go through. They're not thinking too far into the future. So right now, the focus is on re reconnecting as a family, just making memories, like we all do with our families. Tthey're not able to really look beyond that, because it's so surreal, still.

"What happened in that backyard is an extremely personal thing," Hardesty added. "And they're not really eager to share take with the world yet. They need some healing to occur first. And that healing is gonna take days, weeks, months, years."

Smith's interview of Hardesty is below:


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