Accused Kidnapper's Home Searched for Murder Clues

Phillip Garrido accused of kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard

Authorities are searching the home where a man allegedly held a kidnapped girl captive for 18 years, looking for evidence in the murders of several prostitutes.
Contra Costa Sheriff's Department Capt. Daniel Terry says police officers from the nearby city of Pittsburg executed a search warrant Friday at Phillip Garrido's Antioch, Calif., home for clues in the unsolved slayings.
Several of the murdered women's bodies were dumped near an industrial park where Garrido worked during the 1990s.
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, were charged Friday with kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991. Authorities say they held her and two children she had with Garrido as prisoners in a backyard encampment.

Garrido, 58, and his wife Nancy Garrido, 55, were charged Friday with 28 felonies, including  kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment in the kidnapping of Dugard. They both pleaded not guilty.

The complaint states, "Phillip Greg Garrido and Nancy Garrido had substantial sexual conduct with Jane Doe."

If convicted of the charges, they could each face multiple life sentences.

The document also says Phillip Garrido had two prior convictions of forcible rape in April 1977 in Washoe, Nev., and a kidnapping conviction in February 1977, also in Nevada.

As details case develop, many are wondering how the Garridos could have held their alleged victims captive in a compound behind their Antioch home without anyone knowing about it.

Some of the neighbors said they had suspicions about what was happening at the house on Walnut Avenue in Antioch and some of them even called police to report it.

At a news conference Friday, authorities admitted they failed to see the signs that something was amiss at the home but missed opportunities in the past to step in and rescue Dugard.

A neighbor reported a backyard encampment in November 2006 at the home, but the investigating officer dismissed it as a routine code violation, according to The Contra Costa County sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Warren Rupf said law enforcement officials should have caught Phillip Garrido sooner. Rupf said the deputy who inspected Garrido's yard did not know he was a registered sex offender, even though the sheriff's department had the information.

"We offer our apologies to the victims for the missed opportunity the sheriff’s office had to bring an earlier closure to this case," Rupf said. "Organizationally, there are no excuses. Because the responding deputy did not have access to certain data bases, he was not aware that Garrido was a sexual offender and therefore did not make an extensive search of the property. There were no records of other complaints."

Rupf said that more suspicion and curiosity on the deputy's part could have uncovered the secret encampment where Dugard allegedly was held.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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