Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Amber Dubois' parents unveil four bills aimed at finding missing children more quickly

May 25, 2010 | 12:44 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef01310f73003f970c-800wiThe parents of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who was abducted and murdered last year in northern San Diego County, have announced legislation designed to find missing children more quickly and keep a closer watch on sex offenders.

Amber's parents, Moe Dubois and Carrie McGonigle, announced the proposed measures Tuesday at a noon news conference in Long Beach. Their daughter went missing on Feb. 13, 2009, after last being seen walking to class at Escondido High School.

Assemblymen Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) and Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) are sponsoring the four measures.

Amber's parents spent the last year meeting with police and sheriff's officials around the state and learned there was no single, consistent way that police respond to a report of a missing child.

"They believed that had there been better protocols and practices, that their daughter could have been found alive," Nava said of Amber's parents.

One bill would establish a missing child rapid response team in the state attorney general's office that would help local law enforcement agencies search for and recover abducted children in a timely manner.

A second bill would require registered sex offenders to be issued driver's licenses or identification cards with distinguishing marks, such as a colored stripe, and require them to carry the cards at all times.

The third bill would require the state to establish training courses and a checklist for how to handle cases of missing children and require state officials to provide local law enforcement with a list of all sex offenders within a five-mile radius of an abduction within two hours of it being reported.

The fourth bill would require law enforcement agencies to report credible reports of missing adults and children to state and national databases within two hours, up from the current law of four hours.

John Albert Gardner III, a registered sex offender, was sentenced to life in prison this month for raping and killing Amber and Chelsea King, 17, who also was from northern San Diego County. King, a senior at Poway High School, went missing on Feb. 25 after going for a run near Lake Hodges.

-- Tony Barboza