A bone fragment was unearthed at a property once connected to kidnapper and rapist Phillip Craig Garrido. The bone is "probably human," but additional tests are needed, authorities said Tuesday.
The bone piece was found Aug. 31 at a property outside Antioch that is next to the home where Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy, allegedly kept Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years. Garrido had lived in a shed on the neighboring property before the current owner moved in, authorities said.
The Garridos have been charged in El Dorado County with abducting Dugard from South Lake Tahoe when she was 11 years old. She emerged from captivity Aug. 26 after authorities discovered Phillip Garrido was a registered sex offender when he tried to get a permit to distribute religious leaflets at UC Berkeley.
Contra Costa County coroner's officials were unable to determine the source of the bone and turned to an outside expert, who determined that it was probably human, said sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle reports.
It was also reported, the piece of bone turned up in a four-day search of the couple's Walnut Avenue property in unincorporated Antioch and that of a neighbor. Police were seeking evidence in several 1990s prostitute killings and body dumps in Pittsburg.
Police believe Phillip Garrido had access to the neighbor's land when it was vacant. But they said last week said the search had found no link to the slayings.
Phillip Garrido, 58, was convicted in 1976 of the kidnapping and rape of a Nevada casino worker and served 11 years in federal prison. He and his wife, Nancy, were charged Aug. 28 in the abduction and years-long sexual attack of Dugard, who at age 11 was snatched in 1991 from her South Lake Tahoe street. Authorities say Phillip Garrido fathered her two daughters, now 11 and 15.
Dugard's reunion with her family, shortly after police discovered her identity, moved even hardened police officers to tears, said an East Bay lawyer who said he talked with someone who was there. Attorney Michael Cardoza said the source told him officers could hear through the door when Dugard, 29, first met with her mother, Terry Probyn, and other relatives, San Jose Mercury News reports.
CNN quoted Jimmy Lee, director of Public Affairs for the Contra Costa County's Sheriff's Office, as saying, "The expert has determined that the bone fragment found in the backyard of Garrido's neighbor is probably human. We will be requesting the state to see if it can develop a DNA profile on the fragment. It should be noted that it is not uncommon to find Native American remains in Contra Costa County"
In the meantime, police in Hayward, California, are trying to determine whether Garrido is linked to the 1988 kidnapping of Michaela Garecht, Hayward Police Lt. Chris Orrey said last week.
Garecht and Dugard were of similar age and appearance, both were abducted in daylight and a sketch of a suspect resembled Garrido, Orrey said.
In Dublin, California, investigators said last week they were looking into whether Garrido was connected to the 1989 disappearance of Ilene Misheloff, who was 13 when she was abducted.
Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and raping Katie Callaway Hall in 1976. He was released from prison after serving 10 years of a 50-year sentence. He was labeled a sex offender and put on lifetime parole, CNN reports.