Amber's Law passes senate committee

Legislation proposed by the father of slain Escondido teen Amber Dubois unanimously passed by the state Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

The legislation, called Assembly Bill 34, seeks to require law enforcement to report child abductions to national databases within two hours instead of the current four hours.

Maurice "Moe" Dubois has been working with legislators to come up with new laws for better coordinating law enforcement efforts when a child is abducted because his own 14-year-old daughter was abducted, raped and murdered last year.

Tuesday's approval comes one week after the state Senate Transportation Committee rejected other legislation backed by Dubois. In that instance, Dubois sought to require registered sex offenders to have distinctive driver's licenses.

Committee members worried over how such a law might brand minor offenders. They also complained that it did not include penalties for noncompliance.

Dubois conceded the points were valid and he would have to rework it.

Dubois also is pushing Assembly Bill 1022, a measure that would create a director's job within the Department of Justice that would be in charge of helping local agencies maintain strategies and technologies for finding missing children.

The Dubois family spent more than a year looking for their 14-year-old daughter, who disappeared in Feb. 13, 2009 while walking to Escondido High School.

After his arrest for the Feb. 25 rape and murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, sex offender John Albert Gardner III led authorities to Amber's remains in Pala.

Gardner, 31, later pleaded guilty to raping and murdering both teens and was sentenced to a pair of life prison terms without the possibility of parole. He also admitted attacking another young woman in December in the same park where Chelsea was killed, but that victim managed to get away.

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