Amber’s mom says her daughter ‘had nowhere to go’ when Gardner cornered her
Escondido teenager Amber Dubois had nowhere to run when John Albert Gardner III pulled up beside her as she walked to school, her mother said today on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Carrie McGonigle talked about her one-on-one jailhouse meeting with Gardner, in which he told her about what happened on Feb. 13, 2009.
He “told (Amber) to get in the car or it would be a lot worse for her,” McGonigle said. “She had nowhere to go. She was stuck.”
McGonigle said she had talked to her 14-year-old daughter about being approached by strangers in the weeks before her rape and murder. Gardner claimed he told Amber he had a knife and gun but didn’t show her the weapons.
McGonigle fought to talk with Gardner last week. She confronted Gardner’s mother outside the jailhouse and begged her unsuccessfully to give up her visitation so she could quiz him. It’s not clear how McGonigle finally secured her visit.
Gardner, 31, was sentenced to two life terms without the possibility of parole for raping and murdering Amber and 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway. King, a student athlete, was abducted Feb. 25 while on an after-school run near Lake Hodges.
Gardner spent about five years in prison for attacking another girl in 2000 at his mother’s home in Rancho Bernardo. At the time, a court psychiatrist warned authorities that Gardner showed no remorse and would be a threat to society.
After being arrested for Chelsea’s murder, Gardner led authorities to Amber’s remains in Pala. For more than a year, Amber’s family fought to keep her name in the spotlight, adamant that she would not have run away.
McGonigle said there were other details from her meeting with Gardner but she would not disclose them out of respect for Amber’s father, who was not ready to hear about it.
She told GMA she was now focusing on her 7-year-old daughter, trying not to hold onto all the hate and anger she feels over her daughter’s murder.