Tip Sparks Major Search at Kit Carson Park

Police are acting on an unusual tip concerning a bag containing hair

By Michelle Wayland, Artie Ojeda and Gene Cubbison
|  Friday, Mar 5, 2010  |  Updated 8:52 PM PDT
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Aerials of Kit Carson Park: Raw

Artie Ojeda

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Investigators Search Kit Carson Park

Police are acting on an unusual tip concerning a bag containing hair.

Aerials of Kit Carson Park: Raw

Escondido police and San Diego County Sheriff's department investigators search the area of Kit Carson Park Friday.
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A tip regarding a bag possibly containing hair that was found three months after the disappearance of Amber Dubois sparked a major search of Escondido's Kit Carson Park Friday.

Thursday night three children, an 8-year-old and two 11-year-olds, reminded their parents about seeing a "bag with what looked like hair coming out of it," Escondido police Lieutenant Craig Carter said.

The children made the discovery nine months ago and recalled it in light of the Chelsea King story. One of the children's parents immediately called police.

Thursday night, police secured an area near a pond in a wooded section of the park along a waterway and waited for daylight to further investigate the scene.

Escondido police called in a huge showing of search and rescue personnel including the sheriff's underwater search and recovery team. They found a sack in the southern reaches of the park, but said there was nothing inside.

"From what we understand, they don't feel it's going to be a body of any type.  Because if it was, being this close to a snack shack where everybody has a party every weekend, someone would've noticed it by now," said Amber's father Maurice Dubois.

A lot of other bags were found in the area, indicating transient camping. As long as all the resources were deployed -- boats, divers, search and rescue volunteers -- Escondido police said they would widen the search to see if anything useful turns up.

The area is about two miles northeast of the area where a body, believed to be that of Poway teenager Chelsea King, was found Tuesday after an extensive search. It’s also south of where Escondido teenager Amber Dubois disappeared.

Amber was last seen Feb. 13, 2009. She was 14 years old when she left to walk to Escondido High School from her home a few blocks away. Two witnesses said they saw her on the sidewalk just a few hundred yards from the school's main entrance. She never made it.

Registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III, the man charged in the murder and rape of Chelsea King, could be tied to Amber's case, according to Amber's father Maurice Dubois.

At the time Amber disappeared, Gardner lived just two miles from Escondido High School in the Rock Springs East apartment complex.

Amber's father said he can't help but draw connections between his daughter's case and Chelsea King's and that he's spoken with investigators with Escondido police as well as the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

On Friday he said he was happy that investigators were being aggressive in the search for his daughter.

Police said they were planning to start canvassing the neighborhood again to search for leads in the case.

Key locations in the Chelsea King case:

 


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The Chelsea King case in a larger map

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