Amber’s parents feared that she was abducted because she would have never gone with a stranger and has no history of running away. Escondido police told Amber’s mother, Carrie McGonigle, that it was a one-in-a-million-chance that she was abducted.
“I told them this is the one-in-a-million chance,” she said.
Feeling a sense of urgency to find Amber, her parents wanted to get the word out about their missing daughter well beyond Escondido, so they spoke out Sunday at the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Vigil For Hope ceremony at Glendale City Hall in the Parcher Plaza.
Sunday’s ceremony was dedicated to bringing community agencies and residents together in an effort to raise awareness of human trafficking and abduction.
Similar vigils were held throughout the country Sunday to bring attention to missing adults and children.
The Glendale Commission on the Status of Women, Soroptimist International Glendale Chapter and Glendale Police Department Missing Persons Unit, along with other community groups, helped put on the event.
Glendale hasn’t recently had any serious missing-person cases such as abductions, Glendale Det. Tim Oswandel said.
“In Glendale, I can assure you we take these matters very serious,” he said.
Fliers and photos of missing persons from Los Angeles and Orange counties were scattered throughout the Parcher Plaza.
The event chairwoman, Kathie Mathis, asked those in attendance to closely look at and remember the photos.
The Department of Justice has determined that 2,185 children are reported missing every day, she said. Nearly 203,900 children are abducted by family members every year and 115 children are victims of stranger kidnappings.
“We need to bring them home,” she said.
Women’s commission Chairwoman Paula Devine reminded those in attendance not to give up hope.
“When we lose hope, we’ve lost,” she said.
Robert Linden of the jazz and blues band, Zen Boogie, wrote a song titled “Help bring them home,” specifically for Sunday’s vigil.
Linden was inspired to write the song after a child, who was a member of a choir that he taught, went missing, Linden said.
He and his band performed the song dedicated to missing children such as Amber.
Anyone with information about Amber’s whereabouts may call (760) 743-8477 or visit www.bringamberhome. com.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.