Garrido ruled out as suspect in cold cases
Associated Press Writer
RENO – The man charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years has been ruled out as a suspect in two unsolved murder cases involving children in Reno, police said.
Phillip Garrido was cleared after investigators looked for similarities between the cases and Garrido’s alleged method of operation in the Dugard case, Reno police Lt. Mike Whan said.
Dugard resurfaced last August in Northern California after being abducted near her school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe in 1991 at the age of 11.
The cold cases eyed by Reno detectives included the 1989 murders of two children who vanished near their school bus stop.
Investigators searched records on microfiche, contacted retired investigators and sought other physical evidence such as DNA, Whan said.
“We were just looking for facts and everything came to a dead end. There was nothing,” Whan told The Associated Press.
The unsolved cases occurred within two years after Garrido was paroled from a Nevada prison in 1988 after serving time for the 1976 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 25-year-old woman while he lived in Reno.
One of the Reno cases involved siblings Jennifer and Charles Chia, who were kidnapped on a 100-yard walk from a bus stop to their home in 1989. The remains of Jennifer, 6, and Charles, 7, were found nine months later about 60 miles northwest of Reno.
In the other case, 7-year-old Monica DaSilva was taken from her bedroom as she slept in 1990. Her remains were found three weeks later.
Investigators found it interesting that no similar child abductions had occurred in Reno since then. But they have no suspects in either cold case, Whan said.
“It’s very frustrating. You get information where you think this might be the one, and you follow it until it goes nowhere and then you start looking for another suspect,” Whan said.
Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault charges in the Dugard case.