Amber Dubois family hosting search-and-rescue classes

Starting tonight, the family of slain Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, who was missing for more than a year when her body was found, will host a three-day search-and-rescue training class.

Amber was 14 when she disappeared while walking to Escondido High School in February 2008. Despite searches by hundreds of volunteers, she remained missing for more than a year, until remains were found March 6 in Pala, about 25 miles north of her home.

The class is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It being taught by Brad Dennis of the KlaasKIDS Foundation Search Center, which is named after 12-year-old Polly Klaas, who was kidnapped and killed in Northern California in 1993.

Today and Friday, the class will meet at the family’s former search-and- rescue headquarters at 755 N. Quince St. in Escondido. Saturday’s meeting will be in the field.

Participants will learn about tracking, preserving a crime scene and other search-and-rescue tactics.

The cost is $125 per person and includes class materials and a certificate of completion.

No one has been arrested in Amber’s death, but convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III, 30, is a focal point of the investigation, according to Escondido police.

Gardner is jailed on charges of raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway on Feb. 25. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4.