Graves next to Antioch home?
Editor's note: A PDF copy of the complaint filed by the El Dorado County District Attorney's office is attached at the bottom of this story.
While the accused kidnappers of Jaycee Lee Dugard were arraigned in El Dorado County Superior Court Friday, cops were searching the couple's Antioch home for clues in the hopes of solving murders that occurred in the 1990s.
As of Sunday, that search was expanded to include the property neighboring the couple's home. Officials are reported to be using cadaver dogs and shovels.
Phillip Garrido, 58, and Nancy Garrido, 54, pleaded not guilty in court Friday to charges they kidnapped Dugard in 1991 and repeatedly raped her for 18 years.
But officers now believe Mr. Garrido may have murdered numerous women.
According to a spokesman from Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, a number of prostitutes were killed between 1998 and 2002. The victim's bodies were found near Pittsburg and Bay Point. The method of killing was similar in most of the murders and Phillip Garrido once worked near where many of the bodies were found, according to the spokesman.
Sheriff's deputies and prosecutors from two counties and officers from two city police departments were using the dogs, shovels and other tools to inspect the neighboring yard, which sits behind a off-white house with a chain link fence.
Garrido reportedly had access to the neighboring land when the house that sits on it was vacant three years ago.
Another development Friday came as Contra Costa Sheriff Warren E. Rupf said his department missed an opportunity in 2006 to put an end to Jaycee Dugard's nightmare, as well as that of her two children, and he assumed full responsibility.
In 2006 his department received an emergency call in which the caller accused Mr. Garrido of housing children "in tents in his backyard" and also accused him of being a "psychotic sex addict."
According to the sheriff, the responding deputy never entered the home or the backyard, but instead interviewed Mr. Garrido on his front porch. The deputy concluded there was no criminal activity at the site, but warned Garrido that tents on the property could violate county codes, according to Rupf.
“Organizationally, we should have been more inquisitive or curious and turned over a rock or two,” Rupf said. "(There are) absolutely no excuses. ... I'm first in line to offer (our) organization criticism. ... We should have had a better result."
On Friday in a Placerville courtroom, the couple pleaded not guilty to 29 felony counts of kidnapping, rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment.
The Garridos are accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee in 1991 and holding her as a virtual prisoner for 18 years in their Antioch compound.
They were brought into the courtroom, both wearing red jumpsuits and bound in shackles. Nancy kept her head down, appearing to weep during portions of the very short proceeding, her court-appointed attorney sitting next to her.
Phillip stared ahead, seated behind and a few seats away from his wife, speaking in whispers to his court-appointed attorney, Susan Gellman.
The 16-page complaint, filed Friday afternoon in El Dorado County Superior Court, lists several incidents of alleged rape and charge that Nancy was not a bystander but an active participant in the repeated "forcible rapes."
The sixth count reads, "On or between the 10th day of June, 1991, and th 10th day of July, 1991, in the County of Contra Costa, the crime of forcible rape ... was committed by Nancy Garrido, who did unlawfully have and accomplish an act of sexual intercourse with a person ... by means of force, violence, duress, menace and fear."
She is also accused of being the person who witnesses say snatched Jaycee off the street in 1991. A vehicle matching the description of the kidnappers' car was found at the Antioch compound, according to authorities.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kept hidden from view in the suspects' backyard compound, authorities allege. He is also accused of fathering two of Dugard's children, ages 11 and 15. Neither of the children are listed as victim's in the criminal complaint.
Dugard would have been about 14 when her first child was born, only three years after her abduction from a bus stop near her South Lake Tahoe home.
Dugard and her children were kept hidden and isolated using tents, outbuildings and sheds, according to authorities.
"None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor," El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation in this compound, if you will."
According to Scott Kernan, under secretary of adult operations with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, suspicious behavior by Garrido while on the UC Berkley campus caught the eye of a police officer.
According to Kernan, the campus officer spotted Garrido walking with two children, now known to be the daughters allegedly fathered by Garrido, on the campus. Upon questioning, she discovered the man was a parolee. That's when she phoned the parole agent in charge of Garrido, who scheduled an interview with him at a police station in Concord.
The parole officer questioned Garrido, who evenutally confessed to kidnapping Dugard, according to Kernan.
He also said the 29-year-old Dugard accompanied her alleged abductor to the questioning on Wednesday.
"The diligent questioning and follow-up by the parolee's agent of record led to Garrido revealing his kidnapping of the adult female," the Department of Corrections said in a statement. "It was further revealed by Garrido that she was Jaycee Lee Dugard, and that the children were his."
The FBI and investigators from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office are searching the Garrido's Antioch home in connection with the kidnapping. According to sheriff's office officials, the search could take up to another 24 hours.
Phillip Garrido is also under investigation for rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and sexual penetration, according to officials with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office.
El Dorado County District Attorny Vern Pierson said if convicted the Garridos face multiple life sentences.
Phillip Garrido is also a convicted sex offender, having been released from the Nevada Department of Corrections. The timeline for his release from Nevada is in doubt. According to Nevada officials, he was released in 1988, but according to California officials, he was released in 1999.
The Garridos are currently behind bars in the El Dorado County Jail.
At the time of the kidnapping, Dugard's family reported that a vehicle with two people inside drove up to the girl and abducted her in view of her stepfather, Carl Probyn, now 60.
The girl was last seen walking to a bus stop. As she walked, a gray, two-tone, late-model sedan was seen making a U-turn on the street, according to reports.
The car approached the child and a woman described as about 30 years old with long, dark hair pulled her inside, according to reports at the time. A man was also seen in the car.
The stepfather said he heard a scream and jumped on a bicycle to attempt to catch up to the vehicle, but lost them while pedaling uphill.
According to Probyn, who now resides in Southern California, the girl and her mother, Terry, were reunited Thursday afternoon at an undisclosed location.
Dugard's stepfather, the last person to see her in 1991 and a longtime suspect in the case, said he was overwhelmed after doing everything he could to help find her.
"It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," Probyn told The Associated Press at his home in Orange. "It's a total shock after 18 years."
He said that after he received the news from his ex-wife, they cried together on the phone.
According to Kernan, Garrido was subject to home inspection by parole officers.
The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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