California watchdog blasts officials in Dugard case
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California parole officials failed to properly supervise the rapist accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and missed “numerous” clues during her 18 years of captivity, a prison watchdog said in a report released on Wednesday.
The report by California’s inspector general found that 58-year-old Phillip Garrido, who is charged with abducting Dugard, committed a series of parole violations that should have led to his earlier capture.
“Despite numerous clues and opportunities, the department, as well as federal and local law enforcement, failed to detect Garrido’s criminal conduct, resulting in the continued confinement and victimization of Jaycee and her two daughters,” Inspector General David Shaw wrote in the report.
Garrido and his wife Nancy, 54, are accused of snatching Dugard from a street near her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, when she was 11 years old, and holding her for 18 years in a squalid warren of tents and sheds in their back yard.
Authorities say Garrido, who was on parole at the time after serving 10 years in prison for a 1976 rape, fathered Dugard’s two daughters during that time.
Dugard, now 29, surfaced in late August after Garrido aroused police suspicion while seeking to proselytize at a college campus. Garrido brought Dugard and her two daughters to a subsequent appointment with his parole officer, who discovered their identity.
Among the “missed opportunities” Shaw cites in his report are the failure of parole officers to investigate “clearly visible” utility wires running from Garrido’s home into the concealed back yard compound where Dugard was held.
Shaw says agents also neglected to follow up after finding a 12-year-old girl, possibly one of Dugard’s daughters, at the registered sex offender’s home and didn’t interview his neighbors or act on information showing he violated parole.
The Garridos have pleaded not guilty to 29 criminal counts that include kidnapping for sexual purposes, forcible lewd acts and rape.
Phillip Garrido served 10 years in prison for the 1976 rape of another South Lake Tahoe woman. He was arrested in 1972 for drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl but was never prosecuted because she refused to testify in court.
(Editing by Paul Simao)