- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 19, 2009

ANTIOCH, Calif. | The property where Jaycee Lee Dugard was held captive for 18 years became the focus of an archaeological-style dig Friday as authorities revealed the discovery of another bone and a soil “anomaly” that could indicate something lies buried in an area where cadaver dogs earlier picked up a scent.

Police from the cities of Dublin and Hayward have been searching the land to see whether Phillip and Nancy Garrido, the couple charged with kidnapping Miss Dugard in 1991, can be tied to two other Northern California child abductions from the late 1980s.

They cautioned that it was too soon to know whether the bone - one of several fragments recovered from the Garrido property and a neighboring parcel - or the presence of disturbed soil that indicates previous spadework were related to any crimes.

“It could be a lot of different things. It could be significant and it could not be significant, but it’s helping us target where we might do some digging,” said Hayward police Lt. Chris Orrey.

Lt. Orrey said Miss Dugard, who was snatched outside her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, has not supplied any information to indicate the Garridos were involved in the 1988 kidnapping of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht outside a Hayward market and the 1989 disappearance of 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff in Dublin.

“She’s not saying anything that helps us solve our case,” Lt. Orrey said. Hayward and Dublin authorities have not directly interviewed Miss Dugard, but have asked other law enforcement agencies involved in her case to ask questions for them, she said.

Investigators nonetheless spent a fourth straight day combing the Garrido land property and a neighbor’s yard for clues, a search they expect to resume Monday.

Bill Silva, a professional archaeologist who has led excavations for ancient skeletal remains and historical artifacts in California, said he picked up signs of disturbed soil that could indicate a pit while running a manual radar in a grid pattern around the Garrido property Friday.

“We have set it up just like an archaeological site, where we are looking for real ephemeral remains,” Mr. Silva said of the backyard dig in Antioch.

On Thursday, two cadaver dogs picked up a scent that may be a sign of remains in the same area. The next step is to bring in two sets of dogs - one trained to sniff out decomposing bodies and the other trained to detect older bones, Lt. Orrey said.

Miss Dugard, now 29, was reunited with her family Aug. 27, a day after her alleged captors were arrested. The Garridos have been charged with kidnapping, and Mr. Garrido also faces a charge of raping Miss Dugard. Prosecutors say the couple hid Miss Dugard in their Antioch backyard. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.

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