Runaway or Foul Play? Where Is Amber?

Her parents, separated for years, have joined together in the search for their daughter. DuBois, who lives more than an hour north of the home Amber shares with her mother and her mother's boyfriend, said he had taken an indefinite leave of absence from his job and is staying in an area hotel.

Garcia said Amber's cell phone was briefly turned on the day after she disappeared but only for a few seconds. Someone tried to dial into her voice mail but the password was rejected and the phone was immediately shut off and has not been turned on again since. Garcia said that brief activity was recorded as coming from the Escondido area.

Benton said that after police picked up the "ping" from the phone, they immediately issued a Reverse 911 -- in which calls are placed to phones in a several-miles radius -- in hopes of finding someone who had spotted her.

Although police had launched a massive search, on foot, with dogs and by air, the physical search was suspended last week. The family continues the search on its own, with volunteers.

Garcia said there doesn't appear to be any clothing missing from Amber's closet, and her debit card has not been used. Maurice DuBois said the cash Amber had is still in her room.

Garcia said they are also keeping a watch on the $200 check she was given to purchase the baby lamb. It has not been cashed.

Amber's immediate family, including her father, her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend, have all taken and passed polygraph tests, Garcia said.

Garcia said he agrees with Amber's parents that she was abducted. And while he doesn't know who took her, he pointed to friends as possibly knowing more than they let on.

Questioning Everybody

One of Amber's classmates was the last person known to speak with Amber the morning she disappeared.

Garcia, the private investigator, likened his hunch to something not "clicking." He also pointed to a series of phone calls that showed up on Amber's cell phone records. When he called that number, the young man on the other line, he said, denied knowing the teen. But Garcia said he later found out the number reportedly belonged to a boyfriend of Amber's friend.

Benton said they have interviewed Amber's friends several times, as well as other students at the school, and will continue to keep in contact with them as part of the investigation.

No matter what happened to Amber, Maurice DuBois said he just wants her home. He's concerned she may have been taken to Mexico -- the border is about 45 minutes from Escondido. And, if someone has her, he's pleading with that person to let her go.

"I don't want to think about anything else," he said, adding that he's had to avoid joining in on the ground search because he's too afraid of the possibility that they'll stumble across her body.

Said Garcia: "She's just literally disappeared."

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