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Jaycee Dugard Update: Archaeologist Searches Phillip Garrido's Backyard for Signs of Bodies

(AP)
Photo: Investigators search a property that borders Phillip Garrido's home in Antioch, Calif., Sept. 18, 2009.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (CBS/AP) Authorities, including an archaeologist, continue to search the dilapidated property of Nancy and Phillip Garrido for traces of evidence linking the accused kidnappers to the abduction of two girls in the area during the late 1980s.

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

Several bone fragments have been found in the Garridos' yard and the adjoining property where Phillip Garrido occaisionally spent time, however investigators say it is too early to tell whether those are crime-related.

Police are also using equipment to examine whether any areas of soil have recently been disturbed, which may indicate a burial site.

"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.

Hayward and Dublin police are investigating to see if there are any possible links between Phillip Garrido and the unsolved 1988 abduction of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht and the 1989 disappearance of 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have been charged in the 1991 kidnapping of Dugard, who was reunited with her family last month after authorities arrested the couple. Prosecutors say they hid Dugard in their Antioch backyard. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.

While Hayward and Dublin authorities have not directly interviewed Dugard, who was abducted outside her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, they have asked other law enforcement agencies involved in the case to ask questions for them, Orrey said.

(MySpace Photo)
Michaela Joy Garecht, 2, right, with baby brother, Alex, from MySpace.

Dugard has not supplied information to indicate the Garridos were involved in the kidnappings of Garecht or Misheloff.

For four straight days, authorities have searched the Garrido's land and a neighbor's yard for clues. They expect to resume their search Monday.

Investigators already have dismantled the hidden encampment of sheds and tents where authorities say Dugard was held and lived with the two daughters she had by Garrido. They also removed 19 truckloads of debris from the yard and looked inside the Garridos' house.

Orrey said boxes of papers in Phillip Garrido's handwriting have been removed from the house.

Bill Silva, a professional archaeologist who has led excavations for ancient skeletal remains and historical artifacts in California, spent Thursday and Friday pushing a ground penetrating radar in a grid pattern around the Garrido property.

On Friday, he picked up signs of disturbed soil that could indicate a pit where previous digging has occurred. Two cadaver dogs picked up a scent that may be a sign of remains in the same area on Thursday.

Orrey says 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.

"We have set it up just like an archaeological site, where we are looking for real ephemeral remains," Silva said of the backyard dig in Antioch. "This is the first crime scene I've worked on, unless you consider a Native American massacre site."

If there was previous digging on the property, it could be due to something as simple as the fact that the neighborhood used to be made up of citrus orchards and walnut groves, he said.

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

THE JAYCEE LEE DUGARD STORY
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  • Sammy Saltzman

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