Remains of Amber Dubois found in Pala
Skeletal remains found in Pala were those of missing Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, the Escondido Police Department announced
Amber was 14 when she went missing more than a year ago while walking to Escondido High School.
Despite a months-long search by law enforcement, family and volunteers, her body was not found until this weekend.
“The discovery was made in the early morning hours of Saturday, in a
very rugged and remote section of Pala,” Escondido police Chief Jim Maher said at a news conference.
Pala is in northern San Diego County, about 25 miles from Escondido.
The chief said detectives were following a lead when her body was found.
“Positive identification was subsequently made by the San Diego County
Medical Examiner’s Office late Saturday afternoon by way of a dental records comparison,” Maher said. “Her parents were notified in person by Escondido and sheriff’s investigators Saturday night.
Maher did not take questions because of the ongoing investigation.
Amber returned to public attention since the arrest of John Albert
Gardner III, 30, in connection with the disappearance and death of 17-year-old Chelsea King in nearby Rancho Bernardo.
Gardner is a registered sex offender who lived in Escondido when Amber
disappeared. Investigators were looking into any involvement he might have had
with the girl, or in other unsolved crimes.
Because Maher did not take questions, the source of the tip or any
possible role played by Gardner was unknown.
Amber’s father, Maurice Dubois, took a moment to thank everyone in the
search for Amber, especially the hundreds of volunteers who looked for the girl every weekend for much of last year.
“They were the most dedicated people you could ever imagine,” Maurice
Dubois said. “Without them, we couldn’t have done anything.”
The announcement came a day after investigators searched for evidence in Amber’s disappearance in a pond at Kit Carson Park in Escondido.
Police were tipped Thursday that last May, three girls found a black
plastic bag and human hair at the edge of a pond, said Escondido police Lt. Craig Carter.
Detectives found a bag Thursday night, but it contained only mud and
debris, Carter said. It was given to the FBI to analyze.
- Amber Dubois’ father reacts at Gardner’s arraignment
- Effort to rename park where Chelsea King died under way
- Police think Gardner may be connected to Lake Elsinore case
- Search for Chelsea King continues
- Child pulled from 4S Ranch pool dies
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