Amber Dubois And Chelsea King Murders – Where is Killer John Gardner Now? – On NBC’s series ‘Dateline‘ Season 19 Episode 03, titled “In Plain Sight,” viewers will witness the intricate chain of events leading up to the arrest of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King’s tragic deaths in Escondido, California, in February 2009. Amber disappeared while walking to school while Chelsea vanished while hiking near Rancho Bernardo Park a year later; these incidents further compounded our search for answers regarding who could be behind their deaths. If you want to uncover all the truth regarding our investigation and discover who might have done this to these schoolgirls, then look no further – our story starts right now… Fade in! Let us begin our story here now… don’t we?
Amber Dubois and Chelsea King Murder Story
At this episode’s beginning, we learn that Amber Leeanne Dubois made her grand entrance on October 25, 1994, in Escondido, San Diego County, California, to Maurice “Moe” Dubois and Carrie McGonigle, her proud parents. By February 2009, we meet our protagonist – then a 14-year-old student at Escondido High School with plans of acquiring a lamb for Escondido’s upcoming Farmer’s program at Escondido High. In November 2009, her parents divorced, leading her mother, Carrie, to marry Dave Cave – in dramatic tone, Dave revealed: “Amber lives within my humble abode every day; she means everything to me-she’s my little princess!”
Moe Dubois remembers Amber fondly as his sweetheart in this heartwarming scene from Carrie Remini’s flashback, recalling how Amber used to tease him about his receding hairline and poke fun at our protagonist with gusto. Carrie recalls how Amber has always been more at home at school than at the mall – she doesn’t like makeup either – making our protagonist hate shopping even more! Amber revealed her dream to become an animal behavioral scientist in this week’s episode, as revealed by her family!
Carrie eventually relented, agreed to her 14-year-old’s request, and purchased the lamb. Our exuberant teenage protagonist returned home on February 13th, 2009, with her check for its purchase tucked safely in her backpack, but just before purchasing, she vanished without trace on the way to school – with sources reporting she was seen near Escondido High School around 7:00 am that same morning.
At 4:30 in the afternoon, Amber’s stepfather became concerned when she did not return home. In response to her daughter’s absence, he decided to take matters into his own hands by visiting her school, only to discover she had never made it there. Frantic searching ensued, with 400 volunteers covering 200 square miles of rural terrain on foot in search of Amber. Eventually, they discovered human remains buried near an old rusted water tank close to the Pala Indian reservation.
The victim had been brutally assaulted both sexually and fatally stabbed. The police made this shocking discovery a month later. The attackers raped, assaulted, and killed her using weapons that were made available against her. The police arrested them more than six months later, in March 2010. It was a gruesome discovery for the police, finding human remains near an old rusted tank close to the Pala Indian reservation. The victim had suffered both assault and a fatal stabbing before dying, leaving no evidence behind.
In the pilot episode, Chelsea Alexandra “Angel” King is introduced. She was born on July 1st, 1992, to Brent and Kelly King of Poway in San Diego County, California. In February 2010, our protagonist was an exceptionally gifted San Diego Youth Symphony member and an A student at Poway High School. Her future looked promising as graduation approached. On February 25th, an honors high school student went for a run near Lake Hodges, just ten miles away from where Amber disappeared in Rancho Bernardo Park. As night fell, there was still no trace of Amber, and her parents became increasingly troubled, making a desperate plea for assistance from those nearby.
In a desperate race against time, Chelsea’s loved ones and volunteers combed the park for any sign of the missing teenager. Our characters diligently searched until a breakthrough finally occurred on the fifth day, when our dive team made an astonishing discovery near Lake Hodges, close to where her abandoned black BMW car had been found. They uncovered a shallow grave approximately 800 meters away from the lake at around 1 o’clock today (March 2, 2010). According to police reports, it is believed that she may have been brutally raped and strangled before her death.
Investigation and Arrest
Tragedy strikes when two young girls, Amber Dubois, and Chelsea King, are found murdered. The community is in shock and disbelief as they try to piece together what happened and who could possibly be responsible. The investigation becomes intensely emotional as people search for answers, leaving the families of the victims and the entire town wondering: who killed Amber Dubois and Chelsea King?
Carrie began recounting Amber’s disappearance by explaining that she had been eagerly anticipating this day for an entire year, as her love for animals had never wavered from diapers to adulthood. Our protagonist raised a baby lamb for her science project that morning when I left, brimming with excitement. As I left, she said, “Thanks, Mom, I love you so much“… and she had been seen walking alone up the street by two different sets of parents on separate occasions. Also, an unknown adult or child appeared beside Amber in one instance. In another incident, a strange figure appeared by Amber, possibly a male or a child. In both cases, our protagonist took an unaccompanied stroll for the very first time. In another incident, an unknown figure appeared at Amber’s side. Could it have been a man or a child?
The search team and volunteers became increasingly concerned as weeks passed without Amber being found. Authorities and her family suspected something had gone wrong at home, and recently, Escondido police have focused their attention on Amber’s stepfather, Dave Cave. Initial clues suggested something sinister had taken place, such as his not receiving messages from Amber’s high school secretary regarding her absence and conflicts between himself and Amber, resulting in family counseling sessions.
As fate would have it, our protagonist underwent not one, not two, but eight polygraph tests – and to no one’s surprise, passed each one without fail! Carrie decided to leave due to her suspicions of Dave being involved somehow in what had transpired between them. As Carrie’s mother attempts to locate Amber after six months have gone by without a trace, she enlisted a team of live scent search and recovery dogs in August 2009. Carrie’s grandchild disappeared on February 13, and the dogs must retrace her steps that day. Dramatically, the K-9 team took charge and led searchers on an extraordinary adventure from Escondido High School all the way to Pala Indian Reservation – inadvertently leaving only miles between themselves and finding her remains.
Amber went missing despite their best efforts, yet her family held out hope that she might still be alive somewhere out there. Just over a year after Amber’s disappearance, her family received the shocking news of yet another teenager going missing: 17-year-old Chelsea! Carrie’s roommate barged into Carrie’s room to tell her about this tragic turn of events. Amber’s family rallied together in their search for Chelsea, with an army of dedicated volunteers deploying thousands of flyers throughout the area on February 26, 2010, hoping they would eventually find her.
As search teams combed the area, little did the public realize that the San Diego Sheriff’s Department had already discovered an invaluable clue. Unbeknownst to them, authorities found the undergarment and socks belonging to the 17-year-old who had gone missing near a popular running trail. These items were sent for DNA analysis immediately, and the results led authorities in the direction of John Albert Gardner III, a parolee. They are registered sex offenders with an extensive criminal history spanning 10 years. He had previously served six years for brutally attacking and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
What Happened to John Gardner and Where Is He Now?
Authorities were amazed when, through sheer luck, they could extract DNA from a crucial piece of evidence and run it through the National Sex Offender Registry. They made an astonishing discovery: John’s DNA was an exact match with the one found on it! Candice Moncayo publicly identified John as the man responsible for assaulting and attempting to rape her on a jogging trail just two months earlier. As she tried to free herself, she noticed an opening and delivered a swift blow with her right elbow, freeing herself. On February 28th, John, aged 30, was apprehended by a Fugitive Task Force while enjoying a night out at a bar and restaurant located in Del Dios near Lake Hodges in Escondido. Many are wondering what caused such a dramatic turn of events.
Under intense questioning from law enforcement officials, he adamantly denied any role in Chelsea King’s disappearance or Candice Moncayo’s assault. Authorities were able to track his GPS anklet. They discovered that he was spending significant amounts of time around schools, daycare centers, and prisons, where they suspected him of delivering contraband. However, their investigation also led them to remote locations where Amber Dubois was ultimately discovered. Within 48 hours after John’s arrest for murdering Chelsea King and assaulting Candice, authorities found Candice’s lifeless body, leading them to charge John with her murder as well.
Due to John’s murder charges and special circumstance allegations that occurred during rape or attempted rape, prosecutors were determined to seek maximum punishment. John’s attorneys agreed with Bonnie Dumanis, the former San Diego County District Attorney. She recalls, “The discussion revolved around how we could help lead Amber Dubois back home; her family still knew nothing about where their daughter had gone.”
“Bringing Amber Home is of paramount importance in this conversation.” In an unprecedented turn of events, Chelsea’s family made the difficult decision to strike a deal with prosecutors with high stakes attached. They offered John immunity from the death penalty in exchange for leading them to Amber’s remains, which were ultimately found near an old rusted water tank near the Pala Indian reservation in March 2010. Dave Cave exclaimed to Chelsea’s mother, “He should never have been out here!” and said, “He should not have been anywhere near here!” In an explosive turn of events, Dave Cave expressed outrage at seeing John on the street, stating that he seemed out of place on the pavement and belonged elsewhere.
Shockingly, John confessed to both the murder and rape of Amber and Chelsea on April 16, 2010. Furthermore, he also admitted to attempting to rape Candice Moncayo back in December 2009. On May 14, 2010, John was issued a life sentence without the possibility of parole and two additional life terms without parole for murdering Chelsea and raping Amber. He received a 25-year-to-life sentence for assault with the intent to commit rape and an additional 24 years behind bars for prior convictions. In a dramatic turn of events, he decided against appealing as part of a plea agreement. He is currently serving his time at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California.