Body of Chelsea King, 17, found in grave near lake
““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.
The body of Chelsea King, who disappeared on Thursday of last week, was found today in a shallow grave near a lake close to her home in San Diego, CA.
John Albert Gardner III, a convicted sex offender, was arrested on Saturday in connection to the disappearance, and will be charged on Wednesday with the rape and murder of Chelsea.
I can’t even begin to fathom what her family and friends are going through right now.
Honestly, I hope he rots in prison forever. He was sentenced to 5 years in 2000 in connection with an attack on a 13-year-old girl, and he should’ve stayed in there. There is no reason for him to be allowed out of prison and able to attack again. It sickens me.
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.
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.
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.