Amber and Chelsea memorials supported by county supervisors - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Amber and Chelsea memorials supported by county supervisors

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Amber Dubois Amber Dubois
Chelsea King Chelsea King

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to support state legislation to name a highway and bridge after slain North County teens Amber Dubois and Chelsea King.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, plans to introduce legislation later this year to name a stretch of state Route 78 near the Wild Animal Park after Amber and the Interstate 15 bridge over Lake Hodges for Chelsea.

"I thought, what a perfect tribute. She went to the Wild Animal Park all the time and loved animals since she was a small child," Amber's mother, Carrie McGonigle, told board members.

Chelsea's parents, who have since moved with their son to Illinois, sent a letter in support of the plan.

Both girls were killed by sex offender John Albert Gardner III, one year apart.

Gardner admitted abducting 14-year-old Amber as she walked to Escondido High School in February 2009, then raping the teen and fatally stabbing her.

His admission came after his arrest in the death of 17-year-old Chelsea, who was abducted Feb. 25 while jogging near the lake. She was also raped.

Gardner, 31, was sentenced in May to two life terms in prison without parole.

Supervisor Bill Horn said the signs naming the highway and bridge would remind parents to remain vigilant on behalf of their children.

In a related action, the supervisors also unanimously supported a one-year pilot program to establish an e-mail system that would notify recipients whenever the Megan's Law database of registered sex offenders changes in their area.

The supervisors several months ago asked for an e-mail system that would provide more specific information, such as names and addresses, but were informed by the state Attorney General's Office and county counsel that such a plan would violate the law.

A more vanilla notification that can point computer users to the database change is legal.

"We are protecting the wrong people here," Horn said. "The penal code is behind technology, really. We have some dangerous predators out there."

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, there are about 4,000 registered sex offenders living in the region, with around 500 under supervision.

The supervisors also plan to lobby the state Legislature to change the law, so specific information on sex offenders can be e-mailed to the public.

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