Maya Millete

Never Give Up Hope: Mother of Amber DuBois Talks About Maya Millete Case

The mother of Amber Dubois, whose remains were found 13 months after her disappearance, hopes the family of Maya Millete will get answers.

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A North County mother who waited 13 months to find her daughter's body and bring her home has a message to the family of Maya Millete: Keep searching and don't give up hope, because you never know.

Amber Dubois was 14 years old when in February 2009 she was kidnapped on her way to Escondido High School.

"They thought she ran away, thought she met someone online,” said Amber’s mother Carrie McGonigle. But McGonigle said she knew in her heart something was wrong. “I thought she was alive, I never thought she was gone.”

Volunteers searched for Amber and held candlelight vigils.

“The worst part is when you're looking and you're searching and you have no answers, it tears you up,” Mcgonigle said.

There was nothing for 13 long months, then 17-year-old Chelsea King from Poway disappeared while jogging. Her body was found, and a registered sexual predator pleaded guilty to her murder and rape. In a plea agreement that would spare him the death penalty, he also pleaded guilty to the murder of Amber DuBois and told investigators where to look for Amber’s remains, which were found in a remote area of the Pala Indian Reservation. It was an agreement supported by Chelsea's parents Brent and Kelly King.

The mother of Amber Dubois, whose remains were found 13 months after her disappearance, hopes the family of Maya Millete will get answers.

“I mean I couldn't thank the Kings enough for them to take that off the table. I met them already and to this day Brent and I are still very good friends, and we lean on each other for a lot of stuff, so I thank him all the time and he said, ‘I couldn't imagine not knowing.’”

Amber's mother said finding the remains brought her peace, and being able to talk to her daughter's murderer before he went to prison brought her complete closure. 

“I was able to be a mom to my other daughter and I was able to move on. It’s hard to function, you just feel emptiness in your heart, and you want answers.”

She hopes the Millete family will get answers someday soon.

“Not knowing where your loved one is, is horrible. You'll spend the rest of your life wondering where she's at," she said.

McGonigle was not able to help in the search for Maya Millete, as her cadaver dog, Amber, used in the search for her daughter, is too old now. But McGonigle is training another cadaver dog and wants to be available to help if the Millete family searches again for Maya, which she advises.

“Search the areas you've searched already and continue looking because it’s amazing how easily a body is missed," she said.

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