Monday, September 14, 2009
For the first time since 14-year-old Amber Dubois went missing seven months ago, her family is criticizing Escondido police, saying not enough is being done to find her.
"Our daughter is not getting what she needs to be recovered," Amber's father, Moe Dubois, said at a Sunday night prayer vigil at Escondido High School, where Amber was last seen before school on Feb. 13.
The family said police failed to act quickly on a tip received Aug. 24 from someone who may have seen the teen at a business, and the business' surveillance video has since been erased.
The family also alleges that police failed to respond in timely fashion after tracking dogs brought to the region by the family last month picked up her scent.
In a statement released prior to Sunday's prayer vigil, Escondido police Lt. Robert Benton said, "We want the public to know that we continue to have investigators working full-time on this case, which include detectives from the Escondido Police Department, agents from the FBI and employees from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as countless many other resources to help find Amber."
Benton said the case is one of the most extensive investigations ever handled by his department.
"(It) also frustrates us that despite the amount of time and resources, we have yet to find Amber," Benton said. "However, we will continue to investigate this case and will remain vigilant."
Escondido police have interviewed more than 500 people and served more than 50 judicial subpoenas, including ones for computers used by the girl prior to her disappearance. The department also has followed up on more than 1,000 tips, Benton said.
Amber's case is classified as a missing person investigation because police do not know if she ran away or was kidnapped. Friends and family have described her as a studious, well-behaved adolescent who loves her home and her family and has no history of running away.