Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Investigators, dogs look for clues on Garrido property

AFP , SAN FRANCISCO

Cadaver-sniffing dogs found a possible clue as investigators searched the property of Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnap suspect Phillip Garrido for a third day on Thursday, police said.

Sergeant J.D. Nelson said the two dogs were drawn to the same spot of Garrido’s property in Antioch, east of San Francisco, where police are hunting for possible links between the convicted rapist and two young girls abducted in the 1980s.

Investigators will use ground-penetrating radar on Friday to search the spot marked by the dogs after a concrete slab found in the ground is removed, Nelson said.

“Given the fact that both dogs indicated, we want to move forward,” said Nelson, who stressed it was too early to know whether the dogs were attracted to a cadaver or something carrying a human scent such as a diaper.

Garrido and his wife Nancy are currently in custody facing 29 charges, including kidnapping and rape in connection with Dugard, who was found alive last month, 18 years after she was abducted as an 11-year-old girl.

About five dozen law enforcement officials carrying out the latest search of the Garrido residence and an adjacent property said on Wednesday they had found bones at both sites, though it was too early to tell whether they were human.

Investigators are seeking evidence linking the Garridos to two schoolgirls who disappeared in the 1980s — nine-year-old Michaela Garecht, who was abducted from outside a Hayward grocery store in 1988, and 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff, who vanished in nearby Dublin in 1989. Dublin and Hayward are about 80km southwest of the Garrido home.

The Garridos have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping Jaycee in 1991 and keeping her in a makeshift compound in their backyard for 18 years until her discovery late last month along with her two children believed to have been fathered by Phillip Garrido.

Hayward Police lieutenant Christine Orrey said the search at the Garrido property would probably continue until the middle of next week.

She said authorities hoped to complete their search of inside the Garrido house yesterday, as well as pulling up the concrete site that attracted the dogs.

“We’re going to remove the concrete slab so the dogs can have another sniff at it,” she said.

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