UCPD Personnel Prove Pivotal in Kidnapping Arrest
Monday, August 31, 2009
Category: News > City > Crime
Thanks to an intuition felt by two UC Berkeley Police Department personnel, Jaycee Lee Dugard was reunited with her family 18 years after she was allegedly kidnapped at age 11.
Phillip and Nancy Garrido allegedly kidnapped Dugard in 1991 and held her in a backyard encampment in Antioch, Calif. for 18 years. Dugard allegedly bore Phillip Garrido's two children, aged 11 and 15.
On Friday, the Garridos were charged with a total of 29 federal offenses, including multiple counts of kidnapping, forcible rape and forcible lewd acts on a child. Both have entered pleas of not guilty. If convicted, they face multiple life sentences.
In a press conference Friday, UCPD Captain Margo Bennett praised two alert UCPD employees whose instincts led to the case's closure.
On Aug. 24, Phillip Garrido sought out Lisa Campbell, special event manager for UCPD, for permission to hold an event on campus to popularize his religious views. He identified the two girls with him as his daughters.
According to Campbell, she felt uneasy after her initial interaction with the girls, which prompted her to make an appointment with Phillip Garrido for Aug. 25 and contact UCPD Officer Allison Jacobs for support.
"At that point, I wanted to get a better look at (the girls), to have a better assessment of what was happening to them," Campbell said. "There were some things about the kids that were alarming."
Before their scheduled meeting the next day, Jacobs said she ran a routine name check on Phillip Garrido, who was on parole for rape and kidnapping and is a registered sex offender.
"My red flag went up," she said. "This could be a little bit more than we bargained for."
The girls' behavior the next day, which seemed "robotic" and lacked energy, and their skin tone, which was "almost gray," Jacobs said, further alerted the officers.
"I'm a mother, I have two young sons, so this is when my police mode turned into a mother's mode," she said. "There's the police's intuition and mother's intuition that made me ask what's going on with them, what can I do to help them."
Though she was unable to claim wrongdoing or make an arrest at that time, Jacobs contacted Phillip Garrido's parole officer.
However, the officer said multiple officials had seen no children on visits to the Garrido residence, despite tips from neighbors they might be on site.
"He stops me when I said he brought in his two daughters, and he says, 'he doesn't have two daughters,'" Jacobs said. "At that point, my stomach just sank."
When called into a meeting with his parole officer Aug. 26, Garrido brought along his wife and two daughters, as well as a 29-year-old woman who eventually identified herself as Dugard.
Both Garridos were arrested for Dugard's kidnapping later that day, after her identity was confirmed. They are being held in El Dorado County Jail without bail.
Their Antioch home is currently being searched for a possible connection between Phillip Garrido and the deaths of as many as 10 women, some prostitutes, in Pittsburg, Calif. in the 1990s.
Dugard has since been reunited with her family, and Bennett thanked Jacobs and Campbell for making the reunion possible.
"Their willingness to do what was needed set off a chain of events that will undoubtedly change the lives of the three people involved, and we're very proud of them," Bennett said.
Contact Sarah Springfield at email@example.com.
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