The intricate chain of incidents that ultimately assisted law enforcement in apprehending the offender guilty for the deaths of two school-age teenagers, Amber Dubois and Chelsea King, is the subject of NBC’s “Dateline: In Plain Sight.” Amber, 14, went missing in Escondido, California, in February 2009 while her route to school. A year later, Chelsea, 17, vanished from a neighbourhood hiking trail in Rancho Bernardo Park. We’ve got your back if you’re curious about what happened, especially who the murderer was. So let’s get started, shall we?
How Did Amber Dubois And Chelsea King Die?
Maurice “Moe” Dubois and Carrie McGonigle welcomed Amber Leeanne Dubois into the world on October 25, 1994 in Escondido, San Diego County, California. In February 2009, she was a 14-year-old student at Escondido High School who wanted a lamb for her institution’s future farmers programme. Her mother, Carrie, had married Dave Cave at that point after her parents’ divorce. Amber resides in my home, Dave reminisced. And every day I see her when I get home. To me, she is my daughter. She is my little girl.
“My daughter Amber is my sweetheart,” her father Moe Dubois recounted. She’s a small girl who constantly has a smirk on her face and teases me about the direction of my receding hairline. That is my child. Carrie recalled, “She enjoys reading. She hangs out with pals at school and other places, but she avoids the mall. She abhors shopping. She doesn’t wear makeup and loves to read. Amber wanted to study animal behaviour, according to her relatives.
Carrie ultimately caved in to her 14-year-old’s desire and decided to purchase the lamb after many days of nonstop pleading and haggling. On the morning of February 13, 2009, the delighted teen left for school while carrying the lamb’s purchase bill safely in her bag. The teen abruptly vanished on her way to school, so she never got around to purchasing the animal. She was last seen around 7:00 am just a few blocks from Escondido High School, according to sources.
Amber’s worried stepfather went to her school when she didn’t be home by 4:30 and found out she never showed up. Fearing the worst, Amber’s family started looking for her right once, retracing her route to school, distributing flyers across the community, and knocking on every door. More than 400 volunteers walked 200 kilometres of countryside in search of anything. In March 2010, close to the Pala Indian Reservation, police discovered her remains in a small grave by an old, corroded water tank. She had been stabbed to death after being raped.
Brent and Kelly King welcomed Chelsea Alexandra “Angel” King into the world on July 1, 1992 in Poway, San Diego County, California. In February 2010, the 17-year-old was a straight-A student at Poway High School, a member of the San Diego Youth Symphony, and was scheduled to graduate in the spring. On February 25, the honours high school student went for a run in Rancho Bernardo Park near Lake Hodges, just 10 miles from the location of Amber’s disappearance. She never did, though, and her distraught parents pleaded for assistance.
In the hours following Chelsea’s abduction, friends and volunteers scoured the park for the teenager. They continued searching the area over the next few days until, on the fifth day of their search, the authorities made their first breakthrough. Just after 1:00 PM on March 2, 2010, a diving team at Lake Hodges discovered the shallow grave roughly 800 metres from her abandoned black BMW automobile. She had reportedly been raped before being fatally strangled, according to police accounts.
Who Killed Amber Dubois And Chelsea King?
Amber had been anticipating this day for a year, Carrie recounted as she described the day her daughter vanished. Since she was in diapers, she has had a passion for animals. Her science project involves raising a lambling. When I had to leave that morning, she was happy. “Thanks, Mom, I love you so much,” she said. I appreciate the lamb. “She (Amber) was seen by two different parents walking up the street,” she continued. For the first time, she was walking by herself… a male or a child was standing next to her the second time.
The authorities and Amber’s family began to worry that the teen might have been a victim of foul play in her own house after the volunteers and search team were unable to locate her in the next weeks. Police in Escondido concentrated their attention on Amber’s stepfather, Dave Cave. His refusal to receive the information from Amber’s high school secretary about her absences, as well as his argument with the adolescent that sent them to family counselling, were a couple of the incidents that had sparked the suspicion.
He took the polygraph eight times, and each time he passed. But Carrie left because she was unable to shake the feeling that Dave might have been involved. Carrie’s mother hired a group of live scent search and recovery dogs in August 2009 to retrace her grandchild’s steps on February 13 six months after Amber went missing. A mile from where her remains would finally be discovered, the K-9 team took the searchers to Escondido High School and then along a 15-mile stretch of highway to the isolated Pala Indian Reservation.
The family was hopeful that Amber would still be alive but they were still unable to find her. A little more than a year after Amber vanished, her family learned about the disappearance of another promising adolescent. “My flatmate came into my room and said, Carrie, another girl is missing,” Carrie recalled. She’s 17. Chelsea is her name. On February 26, 2010, Amber’s family joined the search for Chelsea with 3,000 fliers and hundreds more volunteers.
Unbeknownst to the general public, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department had already located a significant clue as the search teams combed the region. The socks and pants of the missing 17-year-old were discovered by police near a running route, and they were taken to a facility for DNA analysis. The authorities were able to identify John Albert Gardner III, a parole-eligible convicted sex offender with a ten-year criminal history, thanks to the DNA sample. He had just completed serving a six-year prison sentence for brutally assaulting and sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.
On February 28, John, who was 30 at the time, was taken into custody at a Del Dios bar and eatery near Lake Hodges in Escondido. He made a deal with the prosecution to reveal the location of Amber’s remains in exchange for their choosing not to seek the death penalty once the police discovered Chelsea’s remains two days later. On April 16, 2010, he entered a plea of guilty to the murder and rape of Amber and Chelsea. On May 14, 2010, the judge gave John a life sentence without the chance of parole.
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