Inside Jaycee's Tent Compound

DO NOT USE AFTER AUG 31 2009 -- Exterior view of the tent compound in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's house, in Antioch, Calif., where Jaycee Lee Dugard was held for 18 years. Nick Stern

The "Welcome" sign hanging on a tree branch is a touch of irony, considering the setting: Hidden from view, squalid, rustic (save for electrical cords allowing for lights), and - given the story behind the secret backyard compound - terribly bleak.

The first views of the inside of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's backyard tent compound, in which Jaycee Lee Dugard is alleged to have been held captive for 18 years, show touches of normalcy - shelves and boxes of paperback books, including one titled "Self Esteem: A Family Affair"; an aquarium; cat figurines - amidst turmoil.

The pictures show small chests of drawers and plastic storage containers inside a drooping tent. One large tent with rugs on the ground contains a bed piled high with more boxes and strewn with clothes.

A wicker basket and a small clothes rack imply some order, but many of the pictures show clothes, boxes and other detritus strewn about.

And in the midst of the mess, a young girl's touch: An "Aladdin" ironing board, a hair brush, cosmetics.

The Garridos were arrested Wednesday for allegedly abducting Dugard in 1991. They pleaded not guilty Friday to a total of 29 counts, including forcible abduction, rape and false imprisonment.

Police on Saturday searched the home and property looking for evidence linking them to other open cases in the area, including the unsolved murders of prostitutes.

The investigations are "preliminary," said Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, east of San Francisco Bay, declining to say what past cases were being reviewed.

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Police spent most of the day searching the Garridos' backyard, where Dugard is alleged to have lived in tents and shacks with her two daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido.

One officer could be seen scanning the backyard with a metal detector while another dug a hole.

A third used a chainsaw to clear branches, as investigators shuffled in and out of the property all day.

Officers from the Pittsburg Police Department, Antioch Police Department and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department were on hand.

(Nick Stern)
(Left: Interior view of the tent compound.)

On Sunday about 20 officers were at a neighboring home and property, which were cordoned off as a crime scene, but officials have not explained why.

Neighbors identified the next door house as belonging to Damon Robinson, who has lived there for more than three years.

Robinson could not be reached. He earlier told The Associated Press that Phillip Garrido was the caretaker of the house until Robinson moved there in 2006.

Robinson told CBS Station KPIX correspondent Anna Duckworth he thinks, before he moved in 3 years ago, that Garrido kept the girls there, because he noticed odd things in the house, such as doors that could only be locked from the outside, and a mattress on the living room floor.

Robinson is one of the few neighbors who saw the now-29-year-old Dugard and her daughters (now 11 and 15) peeking over the fence in recent years.

He said his girlfriend called the sheriff's department two years ago to report the known sex offender had children in his yard.

Garrido managed to avoid detection over several years and some close calls.

After his release from prison on an earlier kidnapping charge, Garrido met with his parole agent several times each month and was subject to routine surprise home visits and random drug and alcohol tests, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Gordon Hinkle said. The last unannounced visit by a team of local police agencies was conducted in July 2008.

(Nick Stern)
(Left: Interior view of the tent compound.)

"There was never any indication to my knowledge that there was any sign of children living there," Hinkle said.

The heavily wooded Antioch compound was arranged so that people could not view what was happening, and one of the buildings was soundproofed.

Dugard, now 29, was reunited with her mother, sister and another relative Thursday. She is said to be in good health, but feeling guilty about developing a bond with Garrido, said her stepfather Carl Probyn. Her two children, 11 and 15, remain with her.

"Jaycee has strong feelings with this guy. She really feels it's almost like a marriage," said Probyn, who was there when little Jaycee was snatched from a bus stop in 1991 and has been in contact with her mother since they found out the girl was alive.
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