General Crime

* Deputies Lacked Reason To Search Yard Of Phillip Garrido And Nancy Garrido House On Report Of People Living In Backyard In 2006

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A neighbor reported in 2006 that women and children were living in the backyard of Phillip Garrido’s house near Antioch, where he and his wife allegedly held a kidnap victim captive for 18 years, but investigators didn’t search the property, Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf said today.Garrido, 58, and his wife Nancy Garrido, 55, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the 1991 abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 years old when she was snatched off the street in front of her South Lake Tahoe home.Dugard, now 29, was allegedly held in a hidden complex of tents and sheds in Garrido’s backyard, where she gave birth two of his children. The girls are now 11 and 15 years old, El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said.The couple were charged today with 28 felonies, including forcible abduction, forcible rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said in a prepared statement issued this afternoon.Both Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded not guilty, according to the district attorney’s office. If convicted of the charges, they could each face multiple life sentences.
On Nov. 30, 2006, the sheriff’s office received a call from a neighbor reporting that she had seen people, including women and children, living in tents in the backyard of Garrido’s house at 1554 Walnut Ave. in a rural, unincorporated neighborhood just outside of Antioch.The neighbor told a 911 dispatcher that Garrido was psychotic and had a sexual addiction, Rupf said.A sheriff’s deputy went to the house and talked to Garrido in the front yard of his house. The deputy didn’t know Garrido was a registered sex offender on parole and did not enter the backyard, Rupf said.Instead, he informed Garrido that it was a code violation to have people living in tents in the backyard and closed the investigation.”This is not an acceptable outcome,” Rupf said at a news conference in Martinez this afternoon. “We missed an opportunity to have intervened earlier.”Rupf said he wanted to offer his apologies to the victims for not investigating the report more thoroughly and possibly rescuing the victims earlier.”There are no excuses,” Rupf said. “Our questions should not have stopped there.” He defended the integrity of the deputy,but said that he appears to have taken Garrido’s explanation for the neighbor’s report at face value.”None of us, particularly law enforcement officers, should believe a word that any of these animals utters,” Rupf said, referring to sex offenders.”We are paid to be curious. We are paid to be suspicious. We are paid to deal with criminal minds that are bent on deceiving us. We have to be diligent, aggressively diligent, in turning over rocks.”Rupf said there were no records of any other calls to the house, but a sheriff’s deputy, along with officers from several other local police agencies, did do a sex offender registration compliance check on Garrido in 2008.During that check, the team went inside Garrido’s house, interviewed him and found him to be in compliance with his registration requirements.Again, they did not search the backyard or see anything suspicious.

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