Search Warrants Unsealed in Gardner Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    North County Times

    Newly unsealed search warrants say that police believe John Gardner stalked a young woman and they reveal new details about the day Amber Dubois disappeared.

    A Superior Court judge ordered the unsealing of four search warrants. The searches involved a number of cell phones that convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III was believed to be using between August 2007 and last February.

    They apparently turned up no evidence, according to the sheriff’s detective who applied for the warrants. But in an affidavit, the detective disclosed some facts that are just now coming to light.

    The detective said Escondido police records indicate that on February 13, 2009 -- the day Amber Dubois disappeared -- two adult “family friends" who knew her well reported seeing her near Escondido High School.

    Amber was walking toward the school and "appeared to be in the company of a tall, doughy male," they said. Gardner is 6 feet 2 inches and weighs 230 pounds.

    On April 2, 2009, a young woman, possibly 20 years old, flagged down an Escondido Police officer and pointed to a gray vehicle whose driver "had been following her all day for no reason, the affidavit also revealed.

    The officer quickly contacted the vehicle as it tried to depart the area, and identified the driver as John Gardner. After identifying the convicted sex offender, the officer returned to contact the female in order to take a crime report, but the female had left the area and was never identified.

    Gardner pleaded guilty to killing 14-year-old Amber Dubois and 17-year-old Chelsea King. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next week to life in prison without parole.