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Is Jaycee Just the Beginning? Three More Girls Vanished When Phillip Garrido Got Out of Jail

(MySpace Photo)
MySpace photo of Michaela Joy Garecht, 2, right, with baby brother, Alex. Michaela was kidnapped in 1988.

NEW YORK (CBS) As police uncover gruesome details of Jaycee Lee Dugard's nearly 20 years spent in captivity, three eerily similar cases have re-surfaced.

In each case, a young girl was taken in a similar way as Dugard within a 20-mile radius of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's Antioch, Calif., home.

The disappearances began just months after Phillip Garrido was released from federal prison in Aug. 1988.

Photos: The Search For Jaycee
Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive
Photos: Inside Jaycee's Terror Tent

Even more disturbing, the mother of a nine-year-old victim told Crimesider that the car she saw removed from the Garrido's home on television matched a description of the car that kidnapped her child 21 years ago.

Sharon Nemeth Murch says that when her nine-year-old daughter Michaela Garecht was taken in broad daylight in Nov. 1988, her daughter's friend Trina watched in horror and witnessed the get-away-car which she described as "large, boxy, square-ish sedan, the color was tannish-gold."

Hayward Police Investigator Rob Lampkin, who remains the local lead on Michaela's case, said the gray car found in on Garrido's property does match the description Trina gave years ago although not in color. But he cautioned that the description could match many cars.

(CBS)
Map: Shortly after Phillip Garrido's release from prison, three little girls were kidnapped within 20 miles of his Antioch, Calif., home.

The astonishing break in Dugard's case has certainly piqued Lampkin's interest. "There's similarities in Jaycee's and Michaela's disappearances," he said. "At this point we're not going to ignore anything."

According to Murch, her nine-year-old daughter and her best friend rode their scooters just a few blocks away to the store to pick up some candy and soda on Nov. 19, 1988 in Hayward, CA.

The two girls parked their scooters by the door and when they came outside, one had been moved a few parking spaces away. Michaela spotted it first. She ran to get it and as she bent over, a man jumped out of the car parked next to the scooter, grabbed her and whisked her, screaming, into the car and then drove off, her mother said.

Trina watched in horror as her best friend disappeared.

Twenty years later, Trina saw authorities recover a gray sedan from Phillip Garrido's Antioch, Calif., backyard on television and called Murch to tell her.

Murch told Crimesider that after hearing that Jaycee had been found alive, her hopes are "fairly high," and that the possibility that her daughter could be linked to Garrido has "ramped up" her anxiety as she waits to hear if her daughter has been found.

Murch's case is not the only one that has been recharged by Dugard's re-emergence.

Two other girls disappeared within less than one year of Garrido's return to his mother's Antioch home after he was released early from a 50-year prison sentence for rape. He served less than 11 years. Like Michaela, the other girls lived less than 20 miles from Antioch.

Two months after Michaela was snatched, Ilene Micheloff, 13, was abducted in broad daylight while walking home in Dublin, Calif. News outlets at the time reported that the blue backpack she was carrying was found abandoned in a creek bed near where she was last seen.

(Nick Stern)
Photo: Police say Jaycee Lee Dugard and her daughters were forced to live in this tent.

Photos: The Search For Jaycee
Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive
Photos: Inside Jaycee's Terror Tent

Leutenant Kurt von Savoye of the Dublin Police Department said that finding Jaycee alive has caused this case to resurface, and the department "will certainly explore any possible connections there."

"It certainly is concerning," he said of the timing of Garrido's release from prison and the disappearance of these four girls so near to his Antioch home.

The third, and youngest, girl is Amanda Campbell, who was only four when she was taken from her family in Fairfield, Calif., according to media reports at the time. The chubby-cheeked girl was taken only six months after Jaycee disappeared when she rode her bicycle to a friend's house around the corner. Amanda never arrived at her friend's house and her bicycle was found abandoned nearby.

A spokesman for the Fairfield Police Department said that while investigators are keeping an eye on the Dugard case, they have been looking into Campbell's cold case for some time now and do not believe the two are related.

Photos: The Search For Jaycee
Photos: Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive
Photos: Inside Jaycee's Terror Tent

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  • Sammy Saltzman

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