A sign reading “Amber Dubois Memorial Highway” will be installed along State Road 78 near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Ten miles away, off Interstate 15 at the Lake Hodges Bridge a sign will be erected reading “Chelsea King Memorial Bridge.”
“I’m hoping that it keeps the community vigilant about what happened to our daughters,” said McGonigle. “A lot of times they forget, time goes on and they think ‘oh it can’t happen to us.’ Plus this place gets two million visitors a year, so I’m hoping people will Google the girls names and keep their memory going.”
During a dedication ceremony Monday the families and community members left notes for the girls on the backs of the signs. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore wrote, “We will never forget.”
“It’s a special day,” said McGonigle. “I can’t wait to see the signs up.”
The memorial signs were the idea of Karl Higgins, a volunteer with Chelsea’s Light Foundation.
“One day, I was driving north on the 15 through Peñasquitos,” said Higgins. “And I saw the signs for Cara Knott, the memorial highway signs for Cara Knott who was killed a long time ago. I thought we need to get highway signs for Chelsea and Amber.”
Two years after the project first began, it’s now becoming reality. Higgins said the plans had to get approval from the Escondido City Council, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, California Assembly and the Legislature.
Higgins said the signs cost $15,000 and under state law cannot be paid for with state money. He said all the funds were raised through private donations, coming from both big corporations and private donors.
“I hope that people think about how much San Diego cares about those two girls and their families,” said Higgins. “I hope the families get closure and I hope it helps San Diego get closure in all this. And then when they’re up and people are driving by them I hope people remember just how hard we have to fight to protect kids in our society.”
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, members of the FBI and search volunteers were among those in attendance at the dedication ceremony.