Jaycee Dugard Case: Garrido Property Searched in Connection With Other Missing Girls

Authorities return to the home owned by alleged Jaycee Dugard kidnapper.

September 14, 2009, 12:26 PM

Sept. 15, 2009— -- Authorities from two California police departments are still combing through the tangled property of Phillip and Nancy Garrido today, searching for clues to the disappearance of two more missing girls.

Hayward Police Lt. Christine Orrey told the press that her department is looking for clues to the kidnapping of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht, who'd been was snatched outside a supermarket in 1988.

Sharon Murch, the mother of Michaela Garecht, thanked the police for their hard work in continuing to look for her daughter and said her hopes for a resolution "have never been higher."

If Jaycee Dugard can be found alive and well after 18 years, said Murch, there's hope that her daughter can also be found 20 years later.

Dublin Police Lt. Kurt von Savoye said his department was at the Garrido scene looking for any link to the 1989 kidnapping of 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff.

Von Savoye and Orrey agreed at a press conference earlier on Tuesday that that there were enough similarities between Dugard's case and the disappearances of Garecht and Misheloff to warrant a search of the couple's Antioch home and the property next door.

Authorities searching for clues in the Dugard case found a bone fragment last month that tested as likely being human.

"Our investigators immediately started looking into the possibility that the Garridos had some connection," von Savoye said. "Additionally, we know that based on the Dugard investigation as well as Mr. Garrido's history, these people -- people who commit these offenses -- tend to be predatory and tend to have multiple victims."

"As we learned more about that case we saw more and more similarities" to Michaela's disappearance, Orrey said.

She said her department was interested because the abduction of Michaela was very similar to that of Jaycee Dugard, "very brazen, in broad daylight and in a public place." In addition, she said the vehicle in Michaela's kidnapping was similar to the car found on the Garrido property, and the description of the kidnapper was similar to what Garrido looked like at that time.

Orrey said detectives from Dublin and Hayard would "methodically, systematically and thoroughly search the property with our own cases in mind."

Jaycee Dugard, now 29, was reunited with her family last month after being held in a backyard labyrinth of sheds and tents since 1991, during which time she bore two daughters, allegedly by Garrido. Phillip and Nancy Garrido have pleaded not guilty to 28 counts, including kidnapping and rape.

Michaela, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jaycee Dugard, was snatched in November 1988 after she and a friend took their scooters to a Hayward grocery store.

Murch told ABC News that she has known about the search for 10 days. She said the girl who was with Micheala when she was grabbed called police after Garrido's arrest because she though a car in his yard may have been similar to the one Michaela was forced into.

Murch said that she has some "fantastical hopes" that her daughter will be found alive and she wonders if there is yet another hidden chamber in the Garrido home where her daughter may still be found.

Ilene vanished from Dublin just months later, in January 1989, after taking a short cut across a creek bed on her way home from school.

"The issue with Jaycee being found is just something that reinforces our hope," Illene's father Mike Misheloff told ABCNews.com last month.

Michaela's father Rod Garecht told ABCNews.com last month that when he first heard the story saw about Jaycee Dugard being found, he wondered if the woman police had found was actually Michaela.

"When I saw her, the picture they showed of her as a child looked a lot like my daughter," he said. "I kept thinking it was Michaela and not that other girl."

Garecht and Ilene's father, Mike Misheloff, told ABCNews.com that Dugard's story gives them hope.

Nancy and Phillip Garrido Have Pleaded Not Guilty in Jaycee Dugard Case

Von Savoye said that they while they were not naming the Garridos as suspects, they could not eliminate them either.

Aerial footage of the latest search in Antioch showed workers crawling around in the grass, feeling the dirt. Orrey said crews, assisted by multiple agencies including the FBI, would also be bringing in specialized equipment that would help determine where the ground had been disturbed.

The Garridos appeared in court Monday, where bond was set at $30 million for Phillip Garrido, who was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, which District Attorney Vern Pierson called "very common." Nancy Garrido's attorney did not make a bail request.

They spoke only briefly when agreeing to waive their right to a speedy hearing.

Pierson said during a news conference on the case today that he was dismayed that Dugard and her family had begun to be treated like property "to be had."

"I think they need to be left alone for a little bit of time," he said. "They have a lot to deal with right now."

Pierson wouldn't say if Dugard would need to take the stand once the Garridos went to trial, but that "typically in every criminal case ... ultimately a witness would have to come to court and testify."

Since Garrido's arrest for kidnapping Jaycee Dugard, he has also been investigated for the murder of several prostitutes. He has not been charged with any additional cases.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events