Around 20 officers used rakes, shovels, chain saws and cadaver dogs to search the backyard property of the couple charged with kidnapping and raping Jaycee Lee Dugard—as well as a neighbouring property, which used to be kept up by suspect Phillip Garrido. “We do consider it a crime scene,” said a spokesman for the Contra Costa County, California, Sheriff’s Department. Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11, was held captive for the last 18 years. And the investigation has renewed debate about why police did not uncover the backyard plot earlier. In 2006, a neighbour’s girlfriend called police after spotting tents and children in the backyard of Garrido’s, a registered sex offender. The responding officer did not discover the secret compound. Dugard was united with her family on Tuesday—accompanied by the two daughters, sired by Garrido, that she gave birth to in captivity. It will be a long road to recovery. “Jaycee has strong feelings with this guy [Garrido]. She really feels like it’s almost a marriage,” said Jaycee’s stepfather. Phillip Garrido and his wife pled not guilty last week to 29 counts, which include abduction, rape, and false imprisonment.
Police search backyard prison in Jaycee Lee Dugard case
Officials continue to investigate 18-year captivity