East Bay News

Cadaver dogs point to spot on Garrido property

Thursday, September 17, 2009
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There may be human remains on the East Bay property of the couple accused of kidnapping a little girl and keeping her captive for 18 years.

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Investigators are continuing to scour every inch of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's home. They intend to find out whether the Garridos, already accused of abducting Jaycee Dugard, are also responsible for the disappearance of Michaela Garecht and Ilene Mishelhoff. Both girls were kidnapped in the Bay Area in the 1980s.

Late Thursday afternoon, investigators near Antioch made the somewhat stunning announcement that two search dogs trained in sniffing out human remains actually hit on a particular location in Garrido's yard. They would not specify where the location is, except to say they would do further investigating in that location and that they plan on digging up the area and excavating it in the days to come.

Earlier in the day, investigators brought in ground-penetrating radar, a device that detects objects buried underground, to survey the property next to Garrido's, the same yard that yielded several bone fragments the day before.

"They have two types of equipment, one that looks pretty far down, and in fact on this particular property they're getting a look about 20 feet down," said Lt. Chris Orrey with the Hayward Police Department

Specially-trained dogs covered the same ground, looking for some clue that human remains may be hidden beneath the surface.

"One of the dogs gave an indication at one of the areas of the Garrido residence," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. "We brought in a second dog and he also indicated on that particular part of the property."

Investigators are searching for anything that might be related to the 20-year-old disappearance of Garecht or Mishelhoff.

"Maybe, and I underscore maybe, the other two victims, if in fact they were victims of Garrido, they didn't act properly, they tried to escape, there's all sorts of things that could have happened that would have lead to a homicide," said former Bay Area prosecutor Michael Cardoza.

The woman who owns the property next to Garrido's was overheard telling police her husband had once buried a dog in the yard. Investigators say it will be some time before they know whether the bone pieces found were animal or human.

In the meantime, workers with heavy equipment continued to destroy the many shacks and structures on Garrido's property and haul away tons and tons of debris, clearing the way for a thorough ground search. It's a large-scale effort to discover what, if anything, is buried there.

The search inside the Garrido home has also begun and it is expected to last several more days. See photos from inside the home here.

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Jaycee Dugard Trust Fund
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Jaycee Dugard Trust Fund
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P.O. Box 596
Atwood, CA 92811

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