Nancy Garrido watched over kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard for years while she cared for her elderly, bedridden mother-in-law at the home she shared with her husband, it emerged today.
When Phillip Garrido went to prison for six weeks on a parole violation, his wife, a former nursing assistant, watched Jaycee at the home in Antioch, California, authorities said.
“You can reasonably infer from the charging document that the wife was doing that,” said former US Attorney McGregor Scott, acting as a special spokesman for the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.
The emerging details paint a conflicting portrait of the 54-year-old woman charged with her husband over the kidnapping and rape of Jaycee, now 29, who authorities say had two children with Garrido during her 18 years imprisoned in the back garden. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Jaycee’s stepfather Carl Probyn said Nancy Garrido fitted the description “dead-on” of the woman who pulled the then 11-year-old into a car in South Lake Tahoe nearly two decades ago.
Nancy Garrido’s lawyer, Gilbert Maines, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
But on CBS’s 'The Early Show' yesterday, he said his client loved and missed the two girls her husband fathered with Jaycee and said she saw them all as a family.
It was unclear if the lawyer would claim Garrido was coerced into aiding her husband. But such a claim could be undermined by her silence about Jaycee’s captivity while her husband was held at a jail for six weeks in 1993 on a parole violation, said criminal defence lawyer Michael Cardoza, a former San Francisco Bay area prosecutor.
“There are too many facts in the case and too many opportunities for her to make it right that she did not take advantage of,” Mr Cardoza said. “No jury will believe that for those 18 years she was under duress that whole time.”
Garrido looked haggard when she appeared in court last week wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. She cried and put her head in her hands several times.
Public records provided no clear picture of her life before she met Phillip Garrido, a divorced former musician who had worked odd jobs and had a history of drug abuse.
They were married in 1981 while he was serving time in Leavenworth, Kansas, for the Nevada kidnapping of a casino worker who was sexually assaulted for five hours in a storage unit. The wedding was conducted by the prison chaplain.
Leavenworth resident John Saunders said he rented an apartment to Nancy Garrido in 1985 but did not remember much about her.
“She got her deposit back so I can only assume she cleaned the place up and was a decent renter,” he said.
In January 1988, Phillip Garrido was transferred to the Nevada state prison system and released later that year.
The couple returned to Contra Costa County in California, where Phillip Garrido was raised. Nancy Garrido became a certified nurse assistant in 1989, according to California Department of Public Health records. Her certification expired in 1995 when she failed to renew it.
Department spokesman Ken August said the state does not track where nursing assistants work.
The couple then went to live in the Antioch home of Phillip Garrido’s mother, Patricia Franzen.
Next-door neighbour Helen Boyer, 78, said she knew Ms Franzen for more than 30 years and often saw Nancy Garrido.
Ms Boyer said Garrido had worked in nursing homes for years but stopped about five years ago to become Ms Franzen’s primary caregiver when she became bedridden.
Nursing assistants are on a low rung of the medical profession and cannot work without the supervision of a doctor or nurse.
But Nancy Garrido’s training might help explain how Jaycee could deliver two babies and now have two healthy daughters, aged 11 and 15, even though authorities said none of them had seen a doctor.
Neighbours and customers of Phillip Garrido’s printing business said they saw little of his wife. They said his chief assistant was a blonde 20-something woman he introduced as his daughter Allissa, his name for Jaycee.
“The wife was like a hermit,” neighbour Damon Robinson said. “She looked like she had no spirit.”