California's inspector general has launched an investigation into one of the most mystifying questions in the kidnapping case of Jaycee Dugard: How was accused kidnapper Phillip Garrido able to keep her hidden for 18 years with police and parole officers assigned to check on him?
Inspector General David Shaw told ABCNews.com today that while the investigation only became public this week, it began "almost immediately" after Dugard, now 29, and the two children believed to be fathered by Garrido, were rescued.
It is believed Garrido, 58, had five or six different state parole officers assigned by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation over the 18 years he imprisoned Dugard in his backyard, Shaw said. He was forced to register as a sex offender after being convicted of the rape and kidnapping of a woman in California in the 1970s.
The investigation is twofold, Shaw said. First, "to see whether there was any misconduct on the part of any CDCR employee" and also to examine the system to see where improvements can be made statewide.
Gordon Hinkle, spokesman for the CDCR, told ABCNews.com that the inspector general's investigation was "understandable" and that the department has already turned over all records relating to Garrido.
"We welcome their review and are doing our own internal review as well," he said.
Shaw said he couldn't comment on any preliminary findings but said a full report, which will be made public, is expected within 30 days. Five investigators are assigned to the case.
Shaw told ABCNews that his first reaction to Jaycee Dugard's rescue was "shock that this could have gone one for so many years without being discovered."
Shortly after Dugard was rescued, Hinkle praised the unidentified parole officer who investigated Garrido after two UC Berkeley police employees spotted him with children on the school's campus and found that he was a registered sex offender.
Erika Price Shulte, a spokeswoman for Dugard and her family, told ABCNews.com that the family did not have any comment on any aspect of the investigation. Dugard, she said, remains in seclusion and the reunion with her family continues to go well.
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to 28 charges, including kidnapping and rape. Garrido is being held on $30 million bond. Nancy Garrido's attorney has not requested bail.
How a registered sex offender with rape and kidnapping convictions was able to keep an 11-year-old girl in his backyard and father two children with her has been the question many have been asking from the start.
State parole officers and police are known to have paid Garrido and his wife Nancy visits to their Antioch, Calif., home. As recently as 2006, an officer with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office was called to the house on a complaint from a neighbor that there might be people living in the backyard.
The officer met with Garrido in his front yard, determined there was no threat and left.
At a press conference in August, Sheriff Warren Rupf took responsibility for the incident and noted that they were not aware of Garrido's sex offender status.