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Garrido a suspect in Michaela Garecht case

September 4, 2009 12:32:00 AM PDT
Hayward police are looking into whether Phillip Garrido, who was arrested last week along with his wife for allegedly kidnapping Jaycee Dugard in 1991, could have also snatched 9-year-old Michaela Garecht in 1988, Lt. Chris Orrey said today.

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Hayward police, working with the FBI, have investigated well over 13,000 leads in Garecht's case, Orrey said, but there are some striking similarities between these two cases.

Dugard, a blond-haired, blue-eyed 11-year-old, was walking from her South Lake Tahoe home to the school bus stop on the morning of June 10, 1991 when a man and woman in a car pulled up to her. The woman, believed to be Nancy Garrido, now 55, pulled her inside the vehicle and the man drove away.

Three years earlier, on Nov. 19, 1988, Garecht, who also had blond hair and blue eyes, rode her scooter with a friend to the Rainbow Market on Mission Boulevard in Hayward.

When the two girls came out of the store, they noticed that Garecht's scooter had been moved. When she went to retrieve it, a man grabbed her and pulled her into a car.

In both cases, strangers abducted the girls in broad daylight, Orrey said.

The two victims were also very similar in appearance and the general description of the kidnapper and the car used in the two kidnappings were also similar, Orrey said.

Investigators believe Garrido, now 58, was out on parole and living in the Bay Area when Garecht was taken, Orrey said.

Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman near Lake Tahoe in 1977 and sentenced to 50 years in prison, but, according to Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Suzanne Pardee, he only served nine years and was paroled to California in August 1988, three months before Garecht was kidnapped.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arrested Aug. 26 for allegedly kidnapping Dugard, now 29, and holding her captive in a complex of makeshift sheds and tents in their backyard just outside of Antioch for the past 18 years. While living in the backyard, Dugard gave birth to two daughters fathered by Garrido, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

The couple has been charged with 29 felonies, including kidnapping, forcible rape and false imprisonment. They pleaded not guilty the charges Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court in Placerville.

Jaycee Dugard Trust Fund
Checks only to:
Jaycee Dugard Trust Fund
c/o Viewtech Financial Services
P.O. Box 596
Atwood, CA 92811

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