CALIFORNIA, United States - Garrido's family is in little doubt that Garrido had the ability to carry out further crimes as police search the home of Jaycee's alleged captor for evidence in the murders of several prostitutes.

"Crazy, crazy, crazy," was how Philip Garrido's brother, Ron, described him.

And his father, 88-year-old Manuel Garrido, told reporters that it is 18 years since he stopped being able to deal with his son, which was when they last spoke.

"He's out of his head," the elder Mr Garrido told ABC television. "He was on LSD and he had a very serious motorcycle wreck and hit his head. He was still a young teenager, he wasn't even 17, because they had to call me at work that he had an accident and had surgery and that's it," he said. "He was hurt and he went on LSD and the LSD killed him."

Police in the blue-collar town of Antioch continue to search Garrido's home and now the home of his neighbour for clues on this kidnap and other crimes he may have committed.

Over the weekend, police said Garrido was now being considered a "person of interest" in a string of unsolved prostitute murder cases. They say at least 10 sex workers were strangled, stabbed and dumped in ditches in industrial parks in 1998 and 1999, their bodies found in places to which Garrido "had access".

Public authorities will be also called on again this week to explain some of the remaining mysteries about his case, first, how he came to be released from a 50-year prison term for kidnapping and raping a casino worker in 1977 despite having told police officers that he could only achieve sexual satisfaction by applying violence.

At 1554 Walnut Avenue, the scruffy street where Garrido and his wife, Nancy, kept Dugard for 18 years, some 20 officers were on the scene yesterday.

Dugard and her daughters lived in a litter-strewn tent encampment hidden by fences and trees in Garrido's back garden.

Police have released photographs of the encampment where the kidnapped girl lived, showing the floor strewn with toys, cardboard boxes and clothing. Other items include an open box of lice treatment, a Bible on CD and pictures of Garrido playing guitar.

The garden of the next-door house has also now been taped off and is being treated as a crime scene, police said. Garrido acted as a caretaker to the house for several years, neighbours have said, and he would visit and feed an elderly woman who used to live there.

He and his wife both pleaded not guilty to charges, reported BBC World Service on the weekend.

- THE INDEPENDENT, NZ HERALD STAFF