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Neighbors Describe Alleged Kidnapper As 'Creepy'

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Neighbors Describe Alleged Kidnapper As 'Creepy'

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Neighbors Describe Alleged Kidnapper As 'Creepy'

Neighbors Describe Alleged Kidnapper As 'Creepy'

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Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender, and his wife, Nancy, were arrested last week and charged with 29 counts connected to the 1991 kidnapping, rape and imprisonment of Jaycee Lee Dugard. They have pleaded not guilty. AP/California Attorney General hide caption

toggle caption AP/California Attorney General

Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender, and his wife, Nancy, were arrested last week and charged with 29 counts connected to the 1991 kidnapping, rape and imprisonment of Jaycee Lee Dugard. They have pleaded not guilty.

AP/California Attorney General

Police in Northern California are trying to identify a small bone fragment they found next to the home of a man accused of kidnapping a little girl and holding her captive for 18 years.

Police digging for evidence at the site say they are investigating whether Phillip Garrido was involved in the unsolved slayings of prostitutes in the 1990s.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, were arrested last week and charged with 29 counts connected to the kidnapping, rape and imprisonment of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was snatched outside her home in 1991. They have pleaded not guilty.

Suspicious Raised

In the town of Antioch, where the Garridos live, many people are asking what took so long.

Neighbors have been suspicious for a long time. They often use the same word to describe him: creepy.

"We didn't know what he was," says Betty Unpingo, a mother of 10. "My daughter finally went on Megan's Law and saw his picture."

Megan's Law requires that information about the whereabouts of registered sex offenders be made available to the public.

Unpingo says her family was having a party in the backyard once and she noticed Garrido standing in front of his own house, trying to get the attention of several teenage girls who were leaving the party. It made everybody nervous, she says.

"That was in 2006, that we actually found out that he was a predator," she says.

Damon Robinson moved next-door to the Garridos three years ago. At the time, his girlfriend noticed children living in tents in the Garridos' backyard. She called the police, but a responding deputy didn't know Garrido was a sex offender and never searched the property.

Now, as authorities dig up the backyard, Robinson struggles to keep his emotions in check.

"It's like all the things I had in my heart and my gut ... it's, like, unraveling," he says.

No Attempt To Hide Dugard

How did Garrido and his wife manage to keep Dugard and her daughters, fathered by Garrido, a secret? One answer is that they didn't.

Carla Kirkland, a real estate agent who hired Garrido to print some business cards, says she knew he was eccentric. One day he brought along a young girl while making a delivery.

"She seemed normal, just quiet and reserved," Kirkland says. "So I didn't think anything other than if I was the girl's mom ... I wouldn't allow her to be with him because he's strange."

Bonding With Captor

Dugard apparently had many opportunities to tell people she had been kidnapped, but she didn't.

Psychologist Juliet Francis says that's not as unusual as it may sound, because kidnapped children sometimes bond with their captors.

"I think, initially, as a victim, you feel very angry, you're frustrated with being taken, you're angry at being abused," she says. "And after a while, it really is about adapting to that situation, because the anger is of no help to her. So you have a sense of emptiness ... because that helps you tolerate the situation."

Some are asking why Garrido was on the street in the first place. He had been convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in 1976 and was sentenced to 50 years, of which he served only 11.

"The system as a whole let everybody down, especially Jaycee Dugard, because this guy obviously was a violent sex offender and predator, and yet he was paroled, and that's why this happened to her," says attorney Michael Malloy, who prosecuted Garrido on the rape charge in Nevada.

Malloy says there are several parallels between the 1976 case and Dugard's kidnapping in 1991. Still, FBI officials acknowledge that though they investigated Dugard's kidnapping, they never focused on Garrido as a suspect.

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