Chelsea King's body may have been found in San Diego County in a shallow grave near a lake. The seventeen year old high school senior went out jogging last Thursday and never made it home to her northern San Diego county residence. Brent and Kelly King, Chelsea's parents, made national news broadcasts clinging to the belief that their daughter was still alive.
Brent and Kelly's hope shattered today. "There is a strong likelihood we have found Chelsea," said Bill Gore, a Sheriff investigating King's disappearance reported Tuesday afternoon in a press conference. Authorities, search teams, and local residents numbering in the 1,000s, have searched the hilly area near Lake Hodges and Escondido, California, since the straight A student and cross country runner went missing late last week. Family, friends, and members of the community desperately hoped a search would turn up the missing young woman alive.
John Albert Gardner III was arrested Sunday night in connection with King's disappearance. Gardner is a thirty year old registered sex offender. Gardner resides in Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. Gardner's mother lives south of Lake Hodges in Rancho Bernardo, whom Gardner was apparently visiting on the day King went missing. Just months ago, in December, Gardner attacked a twenty two year old woman in the same park King's body was found, demanded money from the victim, and the victim escaped to find help from San Diego police. Gardner served a five year jail sentence stemming from a previous attack on a thirteen year old female victim. Upon release, Gardner was sentenced to parole wearing a global tracking device until 2008.
Gardner will be charged Wednesday by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.