Searching for updates on the disappearance of Amber Dubois, the Escondido, Ca. teen who was last seen on February 13, 2009, I ran across these articles “Despite split, teen’s family trying to stay focused ” and “ESCONDIDO: Governor offers $40,000 for arrest in Amber Dubois case ”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a $40,000 reward Thursday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the disappearance of missing Escondido teen Amber Dubois.
With Amber’s family offering $60,000 for the safe return of their daughter and the arrest of anyone responsible for her disappearance, the reward money in the case is now $100,000.
If you have followed the cases of Caylee Anthony and Haleigh Cummings, you may have noticed a familiar name, Michelle Bart. At one time, she was the spokesperson for the Anthony’s and Kid Finders Network. Apparently she is now a public relations specialist hired by Amber’s grandmother, Sheila Welch.
In phone interviews Tuesday, the parents said Welch has taken too much control over the search, hiring a public relations specialist against their wishes along with a private investigator.
“The whole thing is pretty ugly,” McGonigle said, adding that her mother has refused to allow for an accounting of what she estimates is $30,000 raised for the Amber Leeane Dubois Trust, which is controlled by the grandmother.
Welch said she has offered to sit down with Amber’s parents to discuss the trust but said they have refused to meet in person. She noted that her efforts have been driven by a sole purpose: To find her granddaughter.
The family’s split, she said, has not prevented her from moving forward on her own search.
Michelle Bart, the public relations specialist hired by Welch, said it’s unfortunate some of the family’s divisions have become public. She said the split has eaten away at her time, at least. When the parents criticized Escondido police earlier this month, for example, Bart had to explain that her camp still very much supports police efforts.
“I’ve used most of my time in the last two or three months doing damage control,” Bart said. “Amber should be the only priority. It should have nothing to do with fighting over a trust.”
Moe Dubois, Amber’s father, acknowledged there are strong family fractures. At times, the family’s message has been distorted by Welch and Bart, he said.
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