Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 20:35 UK

'Robot girls' clue to Dugard case

Berkeley police officer Ally Jacobs on a hunch which led to the discovery

Two US policewomen say the "robotic" behaviour of two girls accompanying Phillip Garrido led to his arrest over the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard.

The officers met Mr Garrido and the two girls as he sought to hold a religious meeting on a California campus.

The officers said they were alarmed at the girls' "weird" behaviour.

Mr Garrido was ordered to a parole meeting where the identity of Ms Dugard was discovered. She went missing aged 11 and was held captive for 18 years.

Mr Garrido is believed to have fathered her two children, the first when Ms Dugard was just 14.

Mr Garrido and his wife Nancy have denied 29 charges in connection with the case, including abducting her.

'Home schooled'

The two officers, Lisa Campbell and Ally Jacobs, have been credited with cracking the case.

They met Mr Garrido on Tuesday as he sought to hold a religious meeting on the grounds of the University of California at Berkeley, where the officers work.

Kidnapping a child under 14
Kidnapping for sexual purposes
False imprisonment by violence
Six counts each of forcible rape
Seven counts each of "forcible lewd act on a child"

Officer Jacobs said something about the girls, aged 11 and 15, alarmed them.

"I think Lisa asked, 'do you guys go to school?' and they both, like robots, [said] 'we're home schooled'."

The officer said they noticed the girls were "extremely pale in comparison" to Mr Garrido, and had "penetratingly blue eyes and I just got a weird uneasy feeling".

"I was looking at the younger daughter who was sitting across from me and she was staring directly at me, it was almost like she was looking into my soul.

"The older daughter, her eyes were darting up at the ceiling she was looking at her dad and just in awe, it looked like she was in worship of him."

The officer added: "I kind of got the feeling that these kids were like robots. It was my intuition."

Jaycee Lee Dugard in a family photo released by Carl Probyn
No pictures have yet been released of Ms Dugard as she looks today

The officers said Mr Garrido told them of his previous rape and abduction convictions but he said he had turned his life around.

Officer Jacobs said that Mr Garrido grabbed his older daughter, saying: "I'm so proud of my girls. They don't know any curse words. We raised them right. They don't know anything bad about the world."

They reported their concerns to his parole officer and Mr Garrido was ordered to report to his office.

The Garridos attended with the girls and a woman called Allissa, whose identity was then revealed as Ms Dugard.

Jaycee Lee was bundled into a car outside her home in 1991 in South Lake Tahoe, 200 miles (320km) from Antioch, where she was rediscovered.

She is believed to have been living in tents and sheds in the backyard of the Antioch home for 18 years.

Held without bail

Earlier, police apologised for missing an opportunity in November 2006 to find Ms Dugard.

An officer visited the Garrido home when a neighbour alerted them to suspicious behaviour there.

But the officer only spoke to Mr Garrido and did not enter his property to carry out a search.

Police are now searching the Garrido home for clues to a number of prostitute murders in the 1990s.

Several bodies in the unsolved murders were dumped near an industrial park where Mr Garrido worked.

Mr and Mrs Garrido are being held without bail and a further court hearing has been scheduled for 14 September.

Ms Dugard and her children are staying at a motel near San Francisco after being reunited with Ms Dugard's mother, Terri Probyn.

Layout of the back garden where Jaycee Lee Dugard is said to have lived


Unless Dugard was kept under lock and key for the entire 18 years of her captivity, over the next few days, certainly there will be an abundance of pieces about Stockholm syndrome and wondering why she didn't ask for help before... If Dugard's captors gave her any freedom, locals will start piping up about how she went to the grocery store or to the park, suggesting that she could have fled at any time.

Torie Bosch, blogging at DoubleX, speculates about the reasons why Jaycee Dugard did not escape.

Over the last 18 years I have often thought about what happened to Jaycee. Every time there was a news report about the discovery of bones in California, I would follow up to see if it was the remains of Jaycee. It never was. Over 18 years my mind wandered back to me sitting in Jaycee's bedroom with Terry, how neat and tidy it was, ready for her return. I hadn't thought about Jaycee in a while, until today.

Anthony Batson, formerly a producer for America's Most Wanted, remembers the day he interviewed Jaycee Dugard's parents.

Though the investigation is now ongoing, perhaps more details will emerge [about Nancy Garrido's] role in this 18-year saga. Was it fear that kept Nancy silent? Or does this just go to show how some women can overlook the monster in their husbands?

YourTango's Julie Leung turns the spotlight on Phillips Garrido's wife.

The fact that various acquaintances thought Garrido was crazy and actually saw Dugard and her daughters reveals how willing we sometimes are to ignore the strange behavior of others, and how this willingness can sometimes allow criminals to operate with impunity for years.

Jezebel's Anna N wonders whether Mr Garrido's neighbours could have been more vigilant.

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