Jaycee Dugard News Case

Jaycee Dugard News Case

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site571/2009/0830/20090830__ecct0831search~3_GALLERY.JPGThe Garridos are now jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and a host of other rape and abuse charges.

This morning a chain-link fence had been erected at the Garrido’s front property line and police had nailed boards over the single-story home’s windows to prevent trespassing.

Dozens of media crews remained camped out on rural Walnut Avenue, where they had been since Thursday.

On Sunday police had extended their search to a next door neighbor’s yard as they looked for evidence linking the Garridos to a number of unsolved homicides. Neighbors had told police that Phillip Garrido served as a caretaker at one point in the once-vacant home next to his.

The Sunday search for evidence involved more than 20 law enforcement officers moving in and around the Garridos’ backyard — a collection of worn-out tents, sheds and piles of rubbish where Dugard, 29, and her 15- and 11-year-old daughters are believed to have lived, hidden by tarps and dense brush from neighbors and even a visiting parole agent.

Authorities had intended to complete the search late Sunday, but reported that evidence had emerged that would require further examination of the properties. While officials would not identify the evidence, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and police from Antioch and Pittsburg have said they are looking for clues that might connect Phillip Garrido to open murder cases, including a series of prostitute killings that occurred in the 1990s, when several women’s bodies were found dumped near a Pittsburg industrial park.Although authorities remained tight-lipped, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee emphasized that Garrido’s neighbor, Damon Robinson, was not a suspect. Rather, Robinson’s house was being searched because of Garrido’s connection to it.

“We know Phillip Garrido had access to the property,” Lee said. “It looks like he lived in a shed on that property.”

Robinson reportedly moved into the vacant house next to Garrido in 2006. He and another neighbor have said that Garrido had served as caretaker during the home’s vacancy. That same year, Robinson’s girlfriend at the time called police, reporting that she saw tents and children in the backyard.

Even then, the backyard compound police say was hiding the family of three was not discovered.

Another neighbor, 66-year-old Janice Deitrich, said that Phillip Garrido helped feed an elderly person who lived in the house before Robinson.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, are alleged to have abducted Dugard from her family’s home 170 miles away in South Lake Tahoe.

And while the crime investigation now being watched around the world continues, a reunion considered unthinkable just days ago continued in a confidential Bay Area location — with Jaycee reunited with the mother she hasn’t seen in 18 years, and her two daughters meeting their grandmother for the first time.

“They’re basically trying to make this less painful for the girls,” said Jaycee’s stepfather, Carl Probyn. “They’re just trying to bond.”

Until she accompanied Phillip and Nancy Garrido and her daughters to a Concord parole office Wednesday, there was no indication Dugard had been off the property since her abduction in June 1991, El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said last week.

Garrido, a registered sex offender, kept the compound secret despite what corrections officials say were twice monthly visits from parole officers.

In 2006, a Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy came to the house after a caller reported suspicious circumstances involving young children in the backyard. The deputy did not know Garrido’s status as a sex offender and did not enter the property, according to Sheriff Warren Rupf, who offered an apology for the missed opportunity to free Dugard.

Now 29, Dugard raised two daughters fathered by Garrido, the first born when was she was 14, authorities say. Unlike their mother, it appears the girls were occasionally allowed to leave the compound with Garrido.

Neither Dugard nor her daughters visited doctors or were enrolled in school, according to police.

Dugard was active in the family printing business and in some instances greeted customers alone at the door, and it appeared she did not try to escape or make contact with the outside world, the undersheriff said during a news conference last week.

Staff writer John Simerman and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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