Vigil held for Amber Dubois 9 years after her murder

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Family, friends and community members gathered Tuesday night to remember slain Escondido teen Amber Dubois.

A group of about 20 people gathered near the same fence from where Amber disappeared nine years ago.

On February 13, 2009, the 14-year-old disappeared near Broadway and Stanley Avenue while walking to Escondido High School.

Amber went missing for more than a year. After the arrest and questioning of John Gardner following the murder of Poway High School senior Chelsea King, Amber’s remains were discovered near the Pala Indian Reservation. The serial killer admitted to kidnapping, raping and murdering both girls.

“Even after nine years, the community still really wants to honor her and remember her,” Lisa Marquez-Vidaurri, a friend of the family.

“Would never miss it for anything but hate coming,” said Edna Hallbrook, a friend of the family.

Carrie McGonigle, Amber’s mom, was also at the vigil. She said in many ways her family is healing, but this year has been difficult as Allison, Amber’s little sister, is now a freshman at Escondido High.

“Same teachers that Amber had and the expectations teachers have for Allison because she is Amber’s sister,” said McGonigle.

McGonigle said they miss Amber every day, but together with the support of friends and the community, they manage to find a sense of peace.

“She had a lot to give to this world and she is greatly missed by a lot of people,” said McGonigle.

“She was just a very special girl, very much missed. I think the world lost out without having her in it,” said Hallbrook.

At Escondido High, Allison is carrying on Amber’s legacy. This year she has earned the scholarship to raise Amber’s lamb in memory of her sister.