Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Election 2020

Father Of Amber Dubois Pushes For Better Monitoring Of Sex Offenders

— The father of slain Escondido teenager Amber Dubois visited Long Beach today as part of National Missing Children's Abduction Day to drum up support for legislation aimed at helping law enforcement agencies respond more quickly to child abductions.

Maurice "Moe" Dubois has been working with Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, to come up with legislation aimed at better coordinating law enforcement efforts when a child is abducted.

The Dubois family spent just over a year looking for their 14-year-old daughter, who disappeared in Feb. 13, 2009 while walking to Escondido High School. After his arrest for the Feb. 25 rape and murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, sex offender John Albert Gardner III led authorities to Amber's remains in Pala.

Gardner attacked both girls after having served five years of a six-year prison sentence for attacking a 13-year-old neighbor girl in Rancho Bernardo in 2000. He was given a lighter sentence as part of a plea deal despite a court psychiatrist's warning that Gardner showed no remorse and would be a threat to society.

"He showed absolutely no remorse for his crimes, and they still gave him only six years of sentence, rather than the suggested 30 years," Maurice Dubois said. "There's numerous issues, numerous parole violations which all should have sent Gardner back into the system. Did he fall through the cracks? Oh yeah. He fell through the cracks a hundred times. Does he know how to work the system? Most predators do.

"What can we do to prevent this from happening again? Try to monitor them, keep track of them, keep them in lockup in cages longer where they need to be," he said. "These are predators who are gonna hurt our children."

Nava, who is running for state Attorney General, is also working on legislation aimed at keeping tighter reins on sex offenders. One measure would require registered sex offenders to carry distinctive driver's licenses.

Gardner, 31, pleaded guilty in April to raping and murdering Chelsea and Amber and was sentenced to a pair of life prison terms without the possibility of parole. He also admitted attacking another young woman in December in the same park where Chelsea was killed, but that victim managed to get away.

Authorities say Gardner stalked other girls and young women and are searching for other possible victims in San Diego, Riverside and possibly San Bernardino counties.

Chelsea's family is also pushing for legislation in her memory that would toughen penalties on sexually violent predators.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.