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Remains ID`d as Amber Dubois

Aired March 8, 2010 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, San Diego, California, suburbs. On the heels of a beautiful 17-year-old high school co-ed, cross-country star, honors student vanishing into thin air from a local park, the body of Chelsea King found just days ago, bombshell tonight. As we go to air, just a few miles away, another teen`s skeletal remains discovered by police. Fourteen-year-old Amber Dubois goes missing on her way to school, 7:00 AM -- 7:00 AM! -- somebody takes this girl, model student, loved to read, so excited that morning about a lamb for her Future Farmers of America project.

In the last hours, those skeletal remains, just discovered, positively ID`d as 14-year-old Amber Dubois. Tonight, as the two girls` families nearly staggering with grief, all eyes on convicted child sex predator John Albert Gardner III.


CHIEF JIM MAHER, ESCONDIDO POLICE: Human skeletal remains have been positively identified as being those of our missing 14-year-old Amber.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Escondido police chief Jim Maher delivered the news all feared.

MAHER: The discovery was made in the early morning hours of Saturday in the very rugged and remote area of Pala, which is in northern San Diego County.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dental records confirmed the discovery.

MAURICE DUBOIS, AMBER`S FATHER: We`d like to thank everybody involved in the search for Amber.

MAHER: Escondido police and sheriff`s homicide detectives were following a lead in the case when they made this discovery.

DUBOIS: Without them, we couldn`t have done anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than a week after a registered sex offender was charged with killing 17-year-old Chelsea King, another missing teen`s body has been found in southern California. Amber Dubois disappeared 10 miles from where Chelsea King was last seen. Amber Dubois`s father said when he learned of Chelsea King`s death, he had a sinking feeling his daughter had fallen victim to the same killer. Both girls were about 5-5, blue-eyed and had slender builds. John Albert Gardner pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murdering Chelsea King.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their only statement so far today just moments ago that John Albert Gardner remains a focus of their investigation on Amber Dubois.

GRACE: What prompted you to go to court on the case of Chelsea King?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the similarities in our case. You know, if there is any connection to Mr. Gardner and our case, I want to be there for his prosecution and soon to be execution, I would hope.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight. In the last hours, skeletal remains just discovered positively identified as a 14-year-old girl, Amber Dubois. Tonight, as the two girls` families nearly staggering with grief, all eyes across the country on convicted child sex predator John Albert Gardner III.


CARRIE MCGONIGLE, AMBER`S MOTHER: You should be concerned for your kids because they`re not -- they`re safe.

MAHER: (INAUDIBLE) information evolved during the course of the Amber Dubois investigation, human skeletal remains have been positively identified as being those of our missing 14-year-old, Amber.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amber Dubois was last seen walking with a man 200 yards from Escondido High.

DUBOIS: Amber was an excellent student, straight As, perfect attendance. Walking to school Friday the 13th, 7:10 in the morning, was 200 yards from the front gate, never made it into the front gate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators found those remains buried in the Pala Indian reservation. That`s in northern San Diego County. In that Indian reservation, it`s a very rugged area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The county medical examiners confirmed her identity through dental records.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Activity in Amber`s search peaked recently with the disappearance and discovery of 17-year-old Chelsea King. Her body was found in the same general area in the Escondido area. A man named John Gardner is under arrest in that, charged with murder and with rape. This community is wondering if these two disappearances and now these two murders might be connected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did provide a statement here, their only statement so far today, saying that the Amber Dubois crime scene is still being processed and that John Albert Gardner, suspect in the Chelsea King case, remains a focus of their investigation on Amber Dubois. That`s the strongest statement they`ve made yet connecting Gardner to Amber Dubois case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s pray justice be served in this, whoever who have done this to her.


GRACE: I just had this placed in my hands as we go to air. It`s for immediate release. It is a news release from the Escondido government. It says the Amber Dubois crime scene is still being processed at this moment and John Albert Gardner III remains a focus of the investigation.

Tonight, the question is, is Gardner III the killer of both little girls? We are talking about Chelsea King, who went missing and was found dead along the running track where she was. It was a jogging path at a local park. Her car was parked, abandoned, locked, her cell phone inside. Her body was just discovered last week in a shallow grave near the water`s edge.

And now just a few miles away, skeletal remains of this beautiful little girl, 14 years old -- I remember when it happened. We covered the disappearance last February 2009 here on the show. It was a Friday the 13th. She had gone to school that morning. It was around 7:00 AM. She was there at the edge of her school when she went missing. More than one witness observed her there.

Straight out to Jose Arballo, editor with the Southwest Riverside News Network. He`s joining us there at the high school where Amber was last seen alive. Jose, we are learning that the crime scene where little Amber`s skeletal remains have now been discovered is still being processed. What is the latest, Jose?

JOSE ARBALLO, SOUTHWEST RIVERSIDE NEWS NETWORK: Yes. Good evening, Nancy. What we have here is just -- as you`ve been saying, this so far up to the lead-in, is that they found the remains, I believe it was a couple days ago, and now you have positive identification. The one thing that -- they`re still not saying a whole lot, though, however. They`ve just confirmed it was her. But they`re really not talking a lot about what`s happening with the investigation. And then out here tonight, we`re having the vigil for her.

GRACE: Well -- back to you, Jose Arballo with Southwest Riverside News Network. Jose, it`s my understanding that Amber`s skeletal remains, 14-year-old girl`s remains, were not found on the Indian reservation but near it.

ARBALLO: Well, actually, it`s -- that area is very -- it`s a rugged area and it is east of Interstate 15. And I don`t know for sure in that area, I`m still looking into it, but I -- it is part of the reservation, as far as I know. I`ve been out there a couple times, and I can see -- I can tell you that it is a very rugged area. So whether it`s on the reservation or not, I don`t know for sure.

GRACE: Out to Matt Zarrell, our producer on the story. Matt, what can you tell me?

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, this is a very remote area about 25 miles from the high school where Amber was last seen. Now, what`s interesting, Nancy, is they had to use dental records to identify the body. They could not do a visual ID, which tells us that the condition of the remains was not very good.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Out to Sharon in Indiana. Hi, Sharon.


GRACE: Hi, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bless your heart. You`re one wonderful gal, let me tell you! You`re like a pit bull, and I love you for it!

GRACE: Sharon, thank you very much. And tonight, I just want to put it out there -- if he disagrees with me, he can call in. But this is not Gardner III`s first victims. You don`t just wake up one morning and snatch a little girl right outside of her school at 7:00 AM in the morning.

Liz, put that map back up. Take a look at this, Sharon in Indiana. He was bunked up, shacked up at his mother`s home. Now, his mother`s home was within about two miles of where Amber Dubois went to school. There you go. There`s the right map. Now, listen to this, Sharon in Indiana. Gardner III`s mother`s, where he was staying, home, was just a couple of miles from where Chelsea King was murdered.

Now, Sharon, what is your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. At one point, and I`m not sure if it was you or Jane Velez-Mitchell, but someone mentioned Gardner became very agitated at his parents` home, his mother`s home. And I`m wondering if the mother kind of broke down and was the tipster.

GRACE: It was my understanding that he became agitated when it was suggested that he move out. Let`s find out about that. Matt Zarrell, what happened, quickly?

ZARRELL: You know, there was a radio interview with this anonymous family person that said that he is agitated, he`s had history of being cruel and violent and angry. But we don`t have A name of the family member. We can`t equate this to anything substantial yet.

GRACE: Joining me right now, everyone, is a very special guest. Sheila Welch is with us. She`s joining us from LA. This is Amber`s grandmother. Ms. Welch, all of us, myself, our staff, want to tell you how sorry we are about your family`s loss. And many of us have been praying for Amber and her family since we first heard she went missing last February, 2009. I remember covering it on our show. I was very, very into 4H. I grew up in a rural area. And I read where Amber was so excited that morning that she was going to get to buy -- get a lamb for her FFA, Future Farmers of America, project, and that really struck a chord with me. And our hearts go out to you and your family, Ms. Welch.

SHEILA WELCH, AMBER`S GRANDMOTHER: Thank you, Nancy. You know, she was very excited, and she was proud to be going to that school because they had such a wonderful program with animals and she loved animals so much. But I don`t want to pass by the opportunity to say thank you because you were the very first national show that considered the plight of Amber, and it means a lot to our family.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am. What do you make of the similarities, Ms. Welch, between Chelsea King`s disappearance and Amber`s? Now, I understand that you think it`s possible someone else other than Gardner was involved in Amber`s disappearance.

WELCH: Well, it appears to me that he`s something of a coward because he`s only attacking, so far as we know, people that are away or alone, whereas Amber, of course, was at her school with hundreds of people.

GRACE: Had she gotten to school yet? I thought she was about 200 yards away.

WELCH: Well, the driveway there, the street, is quite long because of the athletic field.

GRACE: Right. Everyone, when we come back, with me is a special guest, Sheila Welch. This is Amber`s grandmother. As you all have heard and those of you just tuning in, skeletal remains found in a remote area, but only about 20 miles away from the body of Chelsea King, have just been positively identified as the remains of 14-year-old Amber Dubois.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just, like, crazy, to actually know she`s gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This can happen to anybody and it can happen anywhere. God bless her family!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn`t ever bear that pain. And I just, like, you know, ask God -- God`s blessing for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s, like, part of everybody`s life now because everywhere you go, there`s a picture of her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be hard.




DUBOIS: I certainly had hoped that when they came to do a press conference on Amber, it would be under much different circumstances, but that was not to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than a week after a registered sex offender was charged with killing 17-year-old Chelsea King, another missing teen`s body has been found in southern California. The remains of 14-year-old Amber Dubois were discovered in a remote area of an Indian reservation 25 miles from Escondido, Escondido being the last place where anybody saw her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called it a lead, sent them there. But they wouldn`t elaborate on the lead. The case had basically gone cold. They really didn`t have that many leads until just now.

MAHER: Positive identification was subsequently made by the San Diego County medical examiner late Saturday afternoon by way of a dental records comparison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They found the skeletal remains and they identified her through here dental records. But they`re not saying if they found any other evidence. A lot of times, if someone -- it depends on the condition the body had been. Was it buried? Was it just out in the woods? Could the bones have been scattered? Unless someone saw something that they never came forward with before and put two and two together with all this publicity about Chelsea King and said, Hey, you might want to take a look in this particular area, they go up there with dogs and they find her remains.

GRACE: Have you taken a look at a picture of Chelsea King and noticed the similarity, the physical similarity between her and Amber?

MCGONIGLE: Yes. I noticed that. And I noticed the similarity between Chelsea`s mother and me, too. You know, I reached out to the family right away, and I just -- I -- my heart bleeds for them right now.


GRACE: As we were going to air tonight, I`ve just had this handed to me. It`s an Amber Dubois update from the Escondido government, saying the Amber Dubois crime scene is still being processed and John Albert Gardner III remains a focus of the investigation.

Let`s talk about the tip. For those of you that are just joining us, the skeletal remains of a 14-year-old girl -- just beautiful, she`s all freckles, like a tiger lily, just -- there she is, Amber Dubois -- have just been positively identified. This on the heels of Chelsea King being found dead last Wednesday. Chelsea, a young girl, a runner, 17 years old, found in the same general area. Behind bars on that murder and attempted rape is Charles (SIC) Gardner III.

To Cliff Albert, the director of news and programming, KOGO. Cliff, thanks for being with us. I keep hearing about an anonymous tip that led police to Amber Dubois`s skeletal remains. Do we know if Gardner blurted something out from behind bars? Where did the tip come from?

CLIFF ALBERT, KOGO RADIO (via telephone): That, Nancy, has been one of the greatest questions the last 24 hours, ever since the announcement was made late yesterday afternoon that the body -- the remains of Amber had been found. Police are being very tight-lipped about where that tip or information came from. But you can imagine the speculation is rampant, and we have been told by some sources here that it is most likely -- most likely, according to one source -- John Gardner is involved in Amber`s case.

GRACE: Well, I only pray that this anonymous tip did not come from Gardner because what that would mean is that somebody promised him they would not seek the death penalty after two dead girls, in exchange for the location of Amber`s remains.

Joining us tonight is Amber`s grandmother, who has found the strength to be with us and take your calls, Sheila Welch. Ms. Welch, do you believe that Gardner gave the tip as to where Amber was?

WELCH: My present understanding by one of the news releases out of Escondido and San Diego was that a hiker came across her remains while hiking in that area.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t imagine anything worse than losing a child like that. God bless you. I hope that you can begin the healing process now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go to bed at night and just wake up and hope she`s going to be here. And she`s not!

GRACE: Ms. McGonigle, what were the circumstances surrounding your daughter`s disappearance?

MCGONIGLE: She left for school on February 13th, 2009, and was seen by two eyewitnesses right by the school and just vanished. No sign of her.

GRACE: Right there at the school.


GRACE: Vanishes. Vanishes.

MAHER: Human skeletal remains have been positively identified as being those of our missing 14-year-old, Amber.


GRACE: We are taking your calls live. With us tonight is Amber`s grandmother, Sheila Welch. First to Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation, who brought these cases to our attention here at the show. We didn`t know about them until Marc Klaas told us about them. Marc, weigh in.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I -- my heart goes out to Mo (ph) and Carrie and the rest of the family. I know how hard they fought and how much they`ve tried to keep hope alive over the past year.

Nancy, I don`t believe in the coincidence of crime. I believe there is direct linkage between these two cases. Something has occurred in the Chelsea case with Gardner that has led the officials to the remains of Amber. There`s no doubt in my mind about that at all.

And I agree with you, I hope that it`s not some kind of a compromise, some kind of a plea deal to keep this character off of death row, which is exactly where he belongs to be -- or exactly where he belongs.

GRACE: I can tell you this much, Marc Klaas. If they have cut a deal with the devil and spared him the California death penalty in exchange for those whereabouts of her remains, there`s going to be hell to pay.

KLAAS: Well, the irony is, is that they don`t actually execute in California, which is unfortunate. But you know, if he`s not the one, if somebody else did it, then there`s another homicidal maniac on the loose in San Diego, and that`s the last thing anybody needs to hear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We always had hope that we would find Amber. This community has looked and hoped that they would. Now we need to breathe.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Less than a week after a registered sex offender is charged with killing California teenager Chelsea King --

SHERIFF WILLIAM GORE, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF`S DEPT., ON THE CASE: We discovered shortly after 1:00 human remains.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- the remains of 14-year-old Amber Dubois found about 25 miles away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Human skeletal remains have been positively identified as being those of our missing 14-year-old Amber.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The 14-year-old had been missing for just over a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was on her way to school and her mother said she was looking forward to that day.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Many questioning, is John Gardner talking from behind bars?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Amber Dubois crime scene is still being processed and that John Albert Gardner remains a focus of their investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is he connected to both cases?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Gardner wishes to enter a plea of not guilty to both counts.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He could be involved in up to seven, possibly more, attacks. But a solid four that we know of.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "KILLING FOR SPORT": We have predators, human predators, out there. We know they`re dangerous, we know they`re sick.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST; FMR. D.C. POLICE DET., FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: I just find it very interesting that all of a sudden they find this lead after, you know, quite some time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Public defender`s office is going to represent him and they`ve assigned two attorneys to the case, which indicates a strong possibility that he`s going to face the death penalty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First of all we`d like to thank everybody involved in the search for Amber. The entire community, everybody who helped out in our search efforts. And above all, our huge volunteer corps. They were most dedicated people you could ever imagine. Without them we couldn`t have done anything.

That`s about all we want to say. Thank you, and that`s it.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: We have confirmed the crime scene is still being processed. The crime scene where the skeletal remains of 14-year-old Amber Dubois were uncovered.

At first there were reports that they were discovered by a hiker. What about it, Matt Zarrell?

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE STAFFER, COVERING STORY: Well, police have not really commented. We`ve seen a lot of the local media backing off that report. But it`s not clear yet who found the body. The body was found early Saturday morning.

GRACE: This on the heels of the discovery of 17-year-old Chelsea King, just a few miles away. Behind bars, on that attempted murder and rape is Charles Albert Gardner III.

I want to go back to Amber`s grandmother. Sheila Welch is with us tonight.

Miss Welch, it`s my understanding that highly-trained dogs were brought out to that Indian Reservation, that general area. You say -- and correct me if I`m wrong -- that they hit, they hit in the area and police did not follow-up.

SHEILA WELCH, GRANDMOTHER OF AMBER DUBOIS: Well, actually, Nancy, it`s a lot worse than what you just said. The dogs started at the home and they were -- and they tracked all the way to the Indian Reservation. And to the best --

GRACE: Miss Welch, I did not understand that. That is -- that is incredible. I remember the last time I heard of a dog tracking that far was in the Laci Peterson case. The dog tracked all the way from her home in Modesto to the San Francisco Bay.

So you`re telling me that these two trained dogs, especially, one was trained in cadaver and one was trained in something else?

WELCH: Well, they`re both trail dogs in the sense that they can go get in the car and you go on the road or the freeway until there`s a place you can pull off and the dogs get off, out of the car and sniff to see if the car with the person in it moved.

And if it didn`t you get back on the freeway and you go to the next off-ramp. And it`s repeated and repeated until there`s no longer a scent on the highway or the road or the freeway and it ended at the Indian Reservation.

GRACE: To Lawrence Olmstead, also joining us tonight exclusively from L.A. He`s the P.I. hired by Amber`s grandmother.

Mr. Olmstead, thank you for being with us. What did you observe? You were there with the dogs, is that correct?


GRACE: What happened?

OLMSTEAD: And witnessed everything that transpired. Well, you know, when we followed the scent trail from Amber`s home we followed the scent trail essentially -- the same way that she would go to school every day.

One thing that was different, you know, we`ve got eyewitness reports that say the last time they saw Amber was approximately 200 yards from the school entrance. Well, approximately at the same location there happens to be a gate and driveway for a bus maintenance area.

At that same spot that`s where Amber`s scent change directions. Actually it went across the street abruptly, took a hard left turn and she must have got --

GRACE: And the dog did this? The dog showed you.

OLMSTEAD: The dogs did this, right. The dogs never went all the way up to the school entrance. So we know clearly she never made it to the school entrance and that the scent turned left to cross Broadway.

GRACE: Then what happened?

OLMSTEAD: Went across the street. Went through residential area there and then headed to the 15 Freeway North. And from there --

GRACE: Now, Mr. Olmstead, you`re telling me the dog -- you`re observing the two dogs and they`re in a car?

OLMSTEAD: They`re actually in a vehicle, just like Mrs. Welch explained earlier. The dogs are --


OLMSTEAD: There`s two dogs. And what they do is they actually verify each other`s scent trail. One dog will get out first, try to find the scent. And it will hit -- it will give an indication whether or not it got a scent. And then we`ll bring the other dog out and it will do the same routine and indicate whether or not it hit a scent.

If both dogs agree that there was a scent there, then you pursue that scent trail to the next exit or wherever you decide to stop. Bring the dogs out and repeat the process. This process happened all the way into the Pala Indian Reservation.

GRACE: And what happened when they got to the Indian Reservation?

OLMSTEAD: When we got to the Indian reservation we had found three specific locations that the dogs reacted quite strongly to Amber`s scent. So we --

GRACE: What do you mean they reacted quite strongly? They barked, they sniff at the ground, the dig at the ground? What did they --

OLMSTEAD: They scratch at doors, scratch at doors, spin around. They`re taught to give commands to their handler. The handler gives the canine a command and the canine actually gives a response to the handler if there`s something or if there`s nothing. And I really can`t tell you all the --

GRACE: So they hit at the Indian Reservation. But then what happened?

OLMSTEAD: What happens is they hit at three locations within the Indian Reservation. And we immediately followed up with people in these locations. Each one of the locations, for one, had people associated with it at the time we were there.

And immediately to, you know, speak to people we started interviewing witnesses, people that were at these locations, learned as much as we can about the locations and obviously showed flyers and photographs and tried to establish whether or not had anyone seen her, Amber, at these locations.

GRACE: Well, did you give the information to police?

OLMSTEAD: We did. On August 24th I prepared a final report on our visit to Pala to my client and we also supplied Escondido Police Department a copy of the same report for their review and follow-up investigation.

GRACE: What did they do?

OLMSTEAD: You know it`s hard to say what they did. I followed up in Pala two other occasions from that point forward to try to find out if I could verify whether or not the police did follow-up.

I was able to verify one location that I know they did follow-up. Unfortunately two other locations, one location nobody had heard from police. At least the people that I spoke to didn`t hear from police at all.

And one other location was basically abandoned during normal business hours and this would be a place of business which I found kind of odd when I arrived that there was no one there to speak to.

GRACE: What kind of business was it?

OLMSTEAD: You know, because it`s an ongoing homicide investigation right now and these locations may have witnesses or suspects attached to it --


OLMSTEAD: -- I really don`t think --

GRACE: Lawrence Olmstead with us. How far away from the spot, the three spots where the dogs hit, was her -- were her remains found, Olmstead?

OLMSTEAD: You know, being familiar with that location and actually we took our dogs, our canine team right across right past that location. I don`t have the specific information on the location, but I`m pretty familiar with the terrain and the streets there.

And I believe that we were searching with a live scent at that time. Looking for Amber`s scent as a live person and we passed that location. We never were looking for a cadaver at the time.

So it`s very close by. I`d say it`s within about two miles, two to three miles from this triangular pattern of locations.

GRACE: Out to the lines. P.J. in Massachusetts. Hi, P.J.

P.J., CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Good evening, Nancy. First I`d like to say, you are an angel, and I pray for you and your family and your beautiful twins.

GRACE: Thank you.

P.J.: Being a grandmother of 3-year-old boy and girls I understand the wonderful pleasure of having twins and I hope your mom`s all right.

GRACE: Thank you.

P.J.: You`re welcome. First, I never believed in the death penalty, but I do for these people. There is no cure for these people. I was a victim myself (INAUDIBLE) in my mouth. And I`m sorry I never said anything because I was newly married.

And this guy had five kids and was married. He was a maintenance man at our apartment. And I was 21 years old and I was just, you know.

GRACE: So you do not think that a sex offender can be rehabilitated. What about it, Pat Brown? Do you agree with P.J. in Massachusetts?

BROWN: Absolutely, Nancy. You cannot rehabilitate somebody who wants to commit this horrific of a crime. And Gardner, when he was put away for five years, he learned that if you leave a victim alive they`ll come and rat you out. So he changed his M.O. and said, I`ll make sure they`re dead because they`ll never do that to me again. So that`s how dangerous they are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire community is sad. Fifteen months, our police have to work hard on this case, but it`s definitely a sad story. It`s on everybody`s mind.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A 13-month search for the Escondido high school student ended Saturday. The discovery of the remains of Amber Dubois. Escondido police chief Jim Mayor says that they were following that lead. We don`t know where the lead came from.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mayor says Amber`s skeletal remains were found early Saturday morning in the rugged area of Pala. Dental records confirm the discovery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an ongoing murder investigation. And any details, no matter how slight, would be inappropriate to reveal at this point in time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Amber`s parents, Maurice and Carrie, learned of the discovery late Saturday night. They seemed drained from the developments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s about all we want to say. Thank you. And that`s it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The search for Amber went on for months. These cadaver dogs were brought in August. They smelled items belonging to Amber at Escondido High and then ironically led investigators up to the Pala Indian Reservation but nothing was ever found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got done last week with another tragic situation. A gut wrenching situation with another 17-year-old who turned up missing then her body was found in the same general area in the Escondido area. And her name, of course, Chelsea King.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thirty-year-old John Gardner was charged with King`s murder.


GRACE: Gardner said to be in court tomorrow morning for a status update on his case.

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight out of New York, Stacy Schneider and Paul Batista, both defense attorneys. Batista, author of "Death`s Witness."

First to you, Stacy Schneider, I think Marc Klaas is correct. There is no coincidence in criminal law. And while the police are being very tight-lipped they are saying their focus as it relates to Amber Dubois is, in fact, Charles Gardner III.

Now, listen, Stacey. In every jurisdiction in this country that has the death penalty, two dead bodies equal an aggravating circumstance. So this guy`s looking at the California death penalty.

STACY SCHNEIDER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He is, Nancy. Now, if he`s the one, the scary thing is --

GRACE: Well, that`s a given, Stacy. Of course if he`s the one.

SCHNEIDER: Not -- well, you know what, Nancy, no one has talked about, there`s this one report. Remember Amber`s mother said in her interview that there were two witnesses that saw her walking to school.

There`s one report that hasn`t gotten a lot of attention. That one of those witnesses who saw Amber that morning said that she walked away from the school in a different direction with a slim, young man with a dark complexion.

And that certainly does not meet the description of Gardner who you see as pale as can be and thick and just doesn`t match. And I`m very curious why no one is pursuing this witness.

GRACE: He is right now. He is right now, but I don`t know how beefy he was last February 2009, and he does have dark hair.

But, Paul Batista, what I`m talking about is the death penalty and whether you believe that at this early stage before there`s even been a formal indictment, would somebody cut a deal with Gardner? Tell us where the body is of Amber Dubois and we`ll make sure they don`t seek the death penalty on you.

PAUL BATISTA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, AUTHOR OF "DEATH`S WITNESS": Absolutely not. There`s no prosecutor anywhere who would reach that deal, particularly in California, at this stage of the investigation. There`s no room here for a skillful lawyer to negotiate a plea deal on that basis, Nancy.

GRACE: Out to Michael Sapraicone, former NYPD, president of Squad Security Inc. in New York.

Michael, thank you for being with us. What do you make of what the grandmother -- and I have no reason to disbelieve her -- and her private eye have said that they personally get these two highly trained scent dogs, takes them all the way to this Indian Reservation. They give the information to police. Nothing happened.

MICHAEL SAPRAICONE, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE PRESIDENT OF SQUAD SECURITY INC.: Well, we don`t really know exactly what happened with the police and we do know that the body was found several miles away from where the dogs were. And these aren`t police dogs, again. These are private dogs. And - -


SAPRAICONE: The gentleman mentioned also in this that these dogs --

GRACE: Well, what is your point they`re not police dogs, they`re private dogs?

SAPRAICONE: Well, my point --

GRACE: They can have the same training.

SAPRAICONE: They can have better training sometimes. My point being here, we don`t really know exactly what the police did and how far they took that investigation.

GRACE: OK. That point well taken, Michael Sapraicone.

SAPRAICONE: But I`m concerned, Nancy, about that these dogs, they said they only brought these dogs, not a cadaver dog, just a live scent dog. We`re six months into the investigation. I would think we would want to bring a dog who could find a dead body. Also at the time. Of course we don`t want --

GRACE: Well, you say tomato, I say tomato. The dog hit. Regardless of what training you and I 2,000 miles away might speculate the dogs has, both dogs hit in the area. So, you know, they obviously were confirming each other`s hit.

SAPRAICONE: Yes, I agree with that. I agree with that. And we don`t know how far they continued the investigation on it.

Apparently it looks like it ended in a dead end, but that`s -- may not be the case. We don`t know what the police did and we don`t know if that had anything to do with where we stand today.

GRACE: To Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist and M.D., joining us also out of New York.

Welcome, Dr. Taylor. Thank you for being with us. Earlier, Pat Brown, criminal profiler, said that this guy had already had one witness that landed him behind bars, a 13-year-old girl he`d tried to rape.

What`s your thinking as to getting rid of witnesses?

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I mean, obviously you don`t want to be identified, but in terms of treatment of sexual predators it is very difficult. There is no cure, no treatment. So anything can happen.

GRACE: With me Dr. Janet Taylor. Also with us tonight, Amber`s grandmother. Ms. Welch. We are taking your calls live.

As we go to break, we need your help. The Georgia legislature wants to save money. Their idea how to do it? To cut one of the greatest programs ever for children and teens, 4-H.

Please don`t cut such an important program for our youth. You want to save children and kids? Cutting 4-H is crazy. Please contact the Office Board of Regents, 404-656-2202 or e-mail



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Human skeletal remains have been positively identified as being those of our missing 14-year-old Amber. The discovery was made in the early morning hours of Saturday in a very rugged and remote area of Pala.


GRACE: Straight out to Dr. David M. Posey.

Dr. Posey, we now know as of this hour that little Amber was identified only through her dental records. What does that say to you about the state of her remains?

DR. DAVID M. POSEY, MEDICAL EXAMINER, GLEN OAKS PATHOLOGY MEDICAL GROUP: Well, I think just what`s been said. They were skeletonized. I think there probably is very little tissue left. And if there is obviously they couldn`t do anything with fingerprints and dental is probably one of the best ways you can do an I.D. in this state.

There may be some soft tissue left but the coroner or medical examiner might be able to use in making his diagnosis as to what the cause of death is. I think they`re pretty much all skeletonized tonight.

GRACE: I want to go to Amber`s grandmother joining us tonight, Sheila Welch.

Miss Welch, I know that it must be incredibly painful to hear lawyers and criminalists and profilers discuss forensically your granddaughter.

Could you tell us about Amber in life?

WELCH: She had a fantastic sense of humor. She was very loving. She -- it`s terrible to hear people refer to her bones. I don`t want anybody else to ever have to hear that description of their grandchild or their child.

Something has to be done for our broken criminal justice system. This just isn`t the way it`s supposed to be.

GRACE: Miss Welch --

WELCH: She was alive and she was joyous. And I want her back.

GRACE: Miss Welch, it is not the way it`s supposed to be and God bless you and your family, and our prayers are still going out to you and your family and for Amber this evening.

Everyone, if you know anything, the tip line is 760-743-8477.

Everyone, let`s stop and remember, Army Specialist Dominic Rodriguez, 23, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Died in Iraq of injuries from a noncombat related incident. Loved sports. Was the captain of his high school football team. Played ball in college.

Loved wrestling, swimming, fishing. Kind, fun loving. Leaves behind parents Filomeno and Patricia. Wife Jeanette, step children Allusion and Austin.

Dominic Rodriguez, American hero.

Thanks to our guests and especially to you for being with us. A special good night from Georgia friends, Suzy Rand and Kay. Also with us, Porter. Also from California, Josh.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Tonight our prayers are with Amber Dubois and her family. Until tomorrow night, good night, friend.