Body thought to be that of Chelsea King, 17, found in shallow grave near lake

The body of 17-year-old high school student Chelsea King was believed to have been found Tuesday in a shallow grave near a lake not far from her northern San Diego County home, authorities said.

““There is a strong likelihood we have found Chelsea,” said Sheriff Bill Gore at a Tuesday afternoon news conference, confirming the worst fears of the Poway High School senior’s family and friends who had harbored hopes that she might still be alive.

King, a straight-A student and cross-country runner, had been missing since Thursday, when she went out for a run in hilly parkland near Lake Hodges, located near Escondido.
A convicted sex offender, John Albert Gardner III, 30, was arrested Sunday night in connection with King’s disappearance and will be charged Wednesday, according to the San Diego County district attorney’s office.

The whereabouts of Poway High School student Chelsea King remained unknown after four days of intensive searching by thousands of volunteers.

King’s disappearance prompted an outpouring of  support in San Diego and beyond, with hundreds of people joining search efforts and more than 76,000 becoming fans of a Facebook page. Her parents, Brent and Kelly King, appeared on national news broadcasts expressing the belief that she was still alive.
La-me-missing-girl3 Authorities said earlier Tuesday that Gardner had been linked to an attack in December on a 22-year-old woman in the same park where King disappeared. Gardner allegedly tackled the woman and demanded money. She escaped after hitting Gardner in the face, San Diego police said.

Gardner is registered as a sex offender and lives in Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, but he had been visiting his mother in Rancho Bernardo, just south of Lake Hodges, officials said.
Gardner served five years in connection with a 2000 attack on a 13-year-old girl, officials said. After getting out of prison, he wore a global positioning system tracking device until his parole ended in 2008, Gore said.

— Richard Marosi in San Diego

Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times; Mugs of Gardner and Chelsea (AP)

Photos: First a jog, then a disappearance


John Albert Gardner III


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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes, it appears that Gardner is not a likeable person, for many reasons. But, step back a bit from the emotions of this case, and try to see just how much the victim was at fault in her own demise. Running, jogging, alone, did she carry a weapon to defend herself, what type of apparel was she wearing; provocative or non-provocative, was her cell-phone turned on?, what time was she running through this predator-laden neighborhood, how many people did she notify she was going out to do this before she left, what time was her estimated return time, and what was the route she had told people she was planning on taking? Sounds like Chelsea hasn’t learned a thing from all the media-saturation to protect one’s self when engaging in such an activity in such a negative environment. More focus needs to be paid of how negligent Chelsea was, then trying to blame the system for doing exactly what the system was intended to do regarding fulfilling Gardner’s sentence and cutting him free from custody at the soonest available opportunity to save on the expenses of the over-drawn system. Is her case sad? Yes, in my opinion. But,I blame Chelsea more for her failures than I do of what Gardner has already been convicted and served his time for, and is expected to re-offend sometime in the future according to the data. Hard way to learn a lesson Chelsea. Rest in peace.

    • big bold letters I blame Chelsea…and then you say you didn’t say that? what kind of moron?if i were you, i would change your tune ’cause what goes around comes around…want someone to blame you for being in the wrong place at the wrong time?…know to respect karma– is what i strongly advise

      • There is no karma as you claim, only speculation on the part of the person saying that, imo, at least according to the facts.

    • michellefrommadison, I’m as much for prevention as anybody when it comes to kidnapping and trafficking, but unless you volunteer for a kidnapping, then its probably not your fault. Sure lets look at how we can prevent this from happening next time, but lets not take focus off of helping helpless victims in our quest to create a safer society. Your conclusion is as off as saying don’t go on vacation in California because you may die in an earthquake. Just let the blaming go for now and try to figure out how we can live normal lives while getting rid of the crime; not the other way around.

      • Wrong, you missed the meaning all together. I suggest you have an educated person re-read my previous post to you then discuss the validity of everything I stated and you may then find just how incorrect you have perceived it.

    • Michelle must be stupid. I don’t care if Chelsea was running in the nude, that still gave no one the right to rape and murder her. Perhaps California should rethink their absurd gun laws so people wanting to jog could run with their M-16 strapped to their back. I am 74 years old and think Michelle’s opinion is the most ignorant thing I have ever heard. She must belong to the ACLU.

  2. You really have a problem, don’t blame her. Chelsea should have been able to jog anywhere without saying or leaving any word with anyone. Blame goes to one person only, he’s in jail. You need to step back people should be able to walk or jog freely in this world.

    • I never blamed her for anything as you claim. I have, however, pointed out areas of her poor judgment which may have contributed to her own demise. Stupid senseless errors on her part, and for what? A run through a predator-laden neighborhood?

  3. I didn’t blame her for anything as you claim. I did, however, just pointed out some failures on her part that may have contributed to her demise. And, no, blame also goes right back onto Chelsea, if one only uses facts rather than emotions.

  4. You bitch, MichelleFromMadison – you did so blame Chelsea – how can you say you didn’t.

    You need to check out what a the difference between a VICTIM and a CRIMINAL.

    VICTIM: is an innocent person, doing what an innocent person does – JOG, or walk, or ride a bike – and they do not HAVE to do it down main street.

    CRIMINAL: is a guilty person, doing what criminals do – wait for innocent people who are out jogging, walking or riding their bike. AND THEY RAPE AND KILL THEM.

    Are you telling me that you believe they DESERVE what happens to them simply because they did not tell enough people, or have their cell phone on?

    At 17 years old, Chelsea, thank God, was not afraid of her shadow, she was living life – she was a RUNNER!! Her parents raised her a wonderful, caring, healthy (physically & mentally) young woman. She was not some lazy, overweight kid who was babysat by a TV her whole life! She was an honour roll student and a RUNNER!!! Remember that, she was a runner and she would go for runs. She is – WAS, doing what she did. She went for a run. How simply, how natural, HOW HORRIFIC. She went for a run, now she is DEAD.

    How fucked up you are. What would her cell phone have done? It is not a gun or a knife and by the time anyone got to where she was, she would have been gone – THEY would have been gone. So, in your opinion, she should have what – GONE TO THE MALL.

    Go ahead MichelleFromMadison – blame Chelsea because you think that victims brought it on themselves. DID YOU READ ABOUT MY DAUGHTER, JESSIE – I TOLD YOU TO READ IT ALL.

    MichelleFromMadison – DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN, if you have GOD HELP YOU SHOULD THEY BE VICTIM TO A CRIME. God help you if you have a 17-year-old daughter go for a run and come home DEAD. God help you if you have a 20-year-old daughter taken away by a human trafficking ring. BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU WOULD BLAME HER.

    Jessie’s mom Glendene!

    • i loved both barrells

      • Don’t confuses your wrongful-interpretations from the actual facts. Many non-degreed non-professionally-licensed people have that difficulty due to their lack of understanding of both Psychology and Law. Try, instead, to just deal with the facts and not your emotions because it makes you appear to be nothing more than attacking others that are better informed than yourself. If you need more assistance, just ask nicely.

    • Chelsea is a victim of her own demise, and the criminal is the guy who killed her, at least according to the facts; no emotions necessary. 🙂

  5. Michelle, last paragraph first comment, I highlighted for you where you blamed Chelsea. So stop saying you didn’t blame her.

    • I didn’t blam her for anything, she caused her death all by herself. Maybe it was a suicide.

  6. I don’t blame her as you apparently are continually doing. Victims are not at fault unless they choose to insert themselves into dangerous situations. And, if something goes awrey for them, too bad, maybe they will not chose that option in the future and Chelsea will never do that again, I can be assured.

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