California authorities probing the case of a registered sex offender
accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old and forcing her to live in a tent
in his backyard for 18 years are now searching for possible links to
the unsolved murders of several prostitutes.
was arrested in Contra Costa County on Wednesday, accused of kidnapping
Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29 years old, and fathering her two children.
police from the neighboring township of Pittsburg are investigating
whether the 58-year-old Garrido, a convicted sex offender, was involved
in the murders of several prostitutes whose bodies were found near
where he worked in the 1990s.
Garrido and his 54-year-old
wife, Nancy, have been charged with kidnapping and pleaded not guilty
in court on Friday afternoon.
Dugard was reunited with her family on Friday.
Lee Dugard was snatched from a bus stop near her parents home when she
was 11-years-old. Her stepfather saw the abduction take place and got
on a bike to chase her kidnappers, but was unable to keep up.
Reunited with her mother and sister, she was said to be doing well.
spokesman for the sheriff's department that arrested Garrido on Friday
expressed regret that the suspect was not arrested earlier. He said
officers have been by the property where Dugard was held captive twice
in the past three years, including once to investigate the tents where
Dugard and the children lived. But they never went inside the
Garrido's father says that his son has always
suffered from psychiatric problems and in his youth began taking
illegal drugs which worsened the problem.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.