Gerry McCann: "Sniffer dogs are unreliable"
Sniffer dogs have detected the "smell of death" in the backyard of Phillip Garrido's home, where police are searching for evidence in two missing girl cases
Published: 2:15AM BST 18 Sep 2009
Two dogs "indicated" on a site behind the home where Jaycee Lee Dugard's alleged kidnappers lived, Alameda County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
However, he noted that the area is known to have buried remains from Native Americans and animals.
Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy are charged with the 1991 kidnapping of Miss Dugard, who was snatched outside her South Lake Tahoe home when she was an 11. Prosecutors say the Garridos held her captive in their backyard for 18 years, during which time she gave birth to two children allegedly fathered by Mr Garrido. The couple has pleaded not guilty.
Since the Garridos' Aug. 26 arrest, their California home has become a focal point of investigators reviewing outstanding kidnapping cases in the San Francisco Bay area.
Investigators are seeking any evidence on the property that may link the Garridos to the 1988 abduction of Michaela Garecht outside a market. Police are alsolooking for clues that may tie the couple to the 1989 disappearance of Ilene Misheloff.
Sgt Nelson would not say where in the yard the dogs picked up a scent and warned that the indications do not always prove accurate.
Investigators are planning to use high-tech radar equipment to scan the site later today.
They will start digging if they can get any more specific information about what is underground.
So-called cadaver dogs are trained to sniff for the scent of a decomposing body and can catch smells of up to two or three feet (one meter).
"They picked up a scent that may or may not be a sign of some remains," Sgt Nelson said. "The first dog was very tentative on its indication. The second dog was more direct and indicating directly."
On Wednesday, police recovered a bone fragment on the Garrido property and several more in a next door neighbour's yard that also was being searched by investigators because Phillip Garrido had access to it.
Tests are being done to determine if the bones are human or animal.
Meanwhile investigators are continuing to sift through rubbish and brush from the backyard that was fitted out with tents, sheds, an above ground pool and showers.
They have collected personal items that they wouldn't identify that they say belong to Miss Dugard.
Gerry McCann: sniffer dogs are not reliable
Sniffer dogs have a high failure rate, according to Gerry McCann. In an interview with the Portuguese weekly Expresso, when asked to comment about Eddie and Keela searches at Praia da Luz, Gerry said that a study made in USA proved that those dogs were not reliable.
The McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, added: "Jaycee's case underlines statistics which say the younger a child is when she is taken, the more likely she is to be cared for and kept alive over an extended period."
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, said it gave hope that one day daughter Madeleine, snatched in Portugal in 2007, could be found safe and well.
He said: "They are extremely pleased. It strengthens their determination never to stop looking for Madeleine."
Kate and Gerry McCann said: ''Once again this shows that children can sometimes disappear off the radar only to be found years later alive.
''It emphasises that we should never assume that someone is not alive without any evidence to support this. We should never give up
''This case only makes us more determined to find Madeleine. She is out there somewhere and somebody knows where.''
Comment by Prof Moriaty on Missing Madeleine forum:
"Pork chops gets my vote.
After all, 'innocent until proven guilty' as I've been CONSTANTLY reminded over the last two and a half years. Let's not abandon that precious load of codswallop just because Garrido is a nasty individual and not a nice, plausible, friendly, eloquent chap like some Scots people I know.
And remember just how unreliable these dogs are - indeed, so unreliable are they that TV documentaries get made about them, and now even the Yanks are citing their findings in this case!
I wonder this, though. Do dogs 'do' "giving new hope"? Like, say, if dogs alert to remains in the Garrido yard does that "give new hope" to a certain Scots bloke and his missus that the dogs are accurate after all and they will soon find out what happened to Madeleine (even though it means they themselves knew all along)?
Or is it that if it turns out they alert to pork chops after a Garrido barbie, is THAT what "gives new hope"? That the dogs are nasty malicious incompetent bitches and should only be trusted when it's not a McCann being alerted to?
I think we should be told about 'hope'."
In the McCann case the dogs were unreliable, according to Gerry McCann, and only alerted to rotting meat, dirty nappies and the scent of six cadavers Kate McCann had on her clothes from her work as a part time GP, and not bodily fluids from a refrigerated corpse as the police believe.
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