retired federal parole agent said Tuesday he is sorry neither he nor any of his colleagues discovered Jaycee Dugard was living in her alleged captor's backyard during the years Phillip Garrido was under their supervision in Northern California.
Houston Antwine told Sacramento television station KCRA that he couldn't recall visiting the Antioch home where Garrido lived after he was paroled from federal prison in 1988 until his arrest in August or even having the convicted kidnapper as part of his caseload.
Antwine's name surfaced in a heavily redacted set of records KCRA obtained from the U.S. Parole Commission, which terminated Garrido's parole in March 1999 on the recommendation of his parole officer. But it is not clear from the documents whether Antwine had primary responsibility for or a minimal role in overseeing Garrido.
"I don't think he was a regular case of mine," Antwine told the television station from his home in Tennessee. "I kind of looked at my cases a little closer than that. I would have noticed all this junk in the backyard, got nosy with it, too."
Garrido was on parole after a 1977 conviction for kidnapping and raping a 25-year-old woman in Nevada. He was released from prison in 1988 and remained under federal supervision until 1999, when California's parole department assumed responsibility for monitoring him.
When his federal agent recommended ending his parole, Garrido was receiving a low level of supervision, according to the documents. He had not gotten into any trouble with authorities for more than five years, since he was arrested on a federal warrant and briefly imprisoned for an unspecified offense in 1993, the documents state.
Police and prosecutors say Garrido and his wife, Nancy, kidnapped Dugard in 1991, wheen he would have been receiving federal oversight, as the girl was walking to a school bus stop near her South Lake Tahoe home. Police say the couple raped the girl and kept her and her two daughters, sired by Garrido, in a hidden backyard compound.
"It kind of scares me to know I had anything to do with this guy," Antwine said. "It's a crying shame that I couldn't have or somebody couldn't have identified this guy long before all this took place."
Garrido and his wife have pleaded not guilty and are being held in El Dorado County jail.
The Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, which patrols Antioch and responded to a few calls from or complaints about the Garridos in the past five years, has apologized for missing earlier chances to rescue Dugard. But both the U.S. Parole Commission and state parole officials have said little about the case, citing privacy issues.
The 25 pages from Garrido's file obtained by KCRA shed little new light on how closely he was supervised or why his federal parole was ended early.
A February 1997 letter from the commission to Garrido's parole agent says the commission wanted to conduct a parole termination hearing for Garrido even though the parole agent had recommended that he remain under supervision. But it is not clear from the newly released records whether the hearing ever took place.