UPDATE: Police Narrow Search For Missing Teen, Parents Plead For Help

An urgent search is underway for a missing teen in Southern California. More than 100 investigators and volunteers scoured the shoreline along Lake Hodges for any sign of Chelsea King.

Searchers found a piece of her clothing in the area, and investigators are focusing on about 14 miles of shoreline, along with the Lake.

Sources tell the local NBC station that DNA on the clothing led them to a registered sex offender, John Gardner III, who was arrested Sunday. Gardner has been booked for investigation of murder and remains in custody without bail.

Meanwhile, the parents of the missing 17-year-old are pleading for people to come forward with information about her whereabouts.

Brent King told The Associated Press Monday that he last saw his daughter Chelsea King on Wednesday after she played French horn in a school concert.

He found her 1994 BMW parked at a San Diego park late Thursday.

The parents say Chelsea is a straight-A student who ran cross-county and is active in her school's peer counseling program.

Original Story:
A suburban San Diego teenager is still missing after going for a run three days ago in a park but a registered sex offender from Southern California has been arrested in her disappearance.

The arrest came after some 1,400 volunteers scoured Rancho Bernardo Community Park for 17-year-old Chelsea King over the weekend. They were joined by about 120 law enforcement personnel.

San Diego County Sheriff William Gore says investigators searching the park found evidence that led to the arrest of 30-year-old John Albert Gardner of Riverside County.

Gore told the Associated Press in an interview that investigators discovered physical evidence linking Gardner to the case. He would not elaborate.

Investigators believe Gardner may also be tied to a December 27th assault on a female jogger from Colorado Springs, Colo. in the park, a popular regional recreation area full of running trails.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Truth Location: Reality on Mar 2, 2010 at 10:35 AM
    I frickin hate people. Put these creeps down for sleepy time and at least you won't have to worry about repeat (and often, escalated) offenses. GRAY: Thanks again for reinforcing my first statement. Yes. Thousands of young, black children go missing and we don't hear about it. There are thousands of young, white children we never hear of either. So, you need to stand corrected... your statement should state, simply, that there are thousands of children that go missing that we never hear about. Period. Or, you should just keep your mouth (or fingers, as the case may be) shut. Ugh. People. Remember the two teens--one black one hispanic--that went missing a couple of months ago?? They were all over the news (and, thankfully, found safely). I don't recall anyone fussing because there were no missing white children reported on during that time.... All kinds of news happens all over the world that may or may not make it to any given news source.
  • by Renee Location: Winton on Mar 2, 2010 at 06:22 AM
    I pray that she is found safe. How awful to law down at night and not know where your child is.
  • by phil on Mar 2, 2010 at 05:47 AM
    Hope she makes it home safe.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2010 at 05:16 AM
    wht do some people always make a race issue out of anything? Color is irrelevant in these matters...Any missing child is important, remember Shaniya, found in Lee County? She was black. Everyone should pray and hope for the best, no matter what color the skin is!
  • by Gray Location: Greenville on Mar 2, 2010 at 02:59 AM
    Would that WITN and other news sources would focus on black women/teens/children this much when they go missing. I am sorry that she is missing, but thousands of black children go missing and it doesn't it get a side mention.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Mar 2, 2010 at 02:14 AM
    Our local missing young lady wasn't publicized until a week after she disappeared. Why does it take NC so long to react? I hope both young ladies are ok.
  • by M Location: Greenville on Mar 1, 2010 at 09:42 AM
    You got that right, sex offenders tend to get lenient sentences, often times only probation. Meanwhile, our non-violent marijuana drug dealers are being locked up for 5-10 years. It's not right!!!! Many drug dealers turn their lives around, but statistics show that sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate, and they will most likely strike again. Terrible governmental procedures in place, such as these dumb drug sentencing laws. Why not make a mandatory sex offender sentecing law?
  • by HK on Mar 1, 2010 at 05:59 AM
    Someone please tell me when will our legal system learn that these sex offenders will not stop. How many innocent lives have to be ruined before we stop putting these monsters back out in the communities???
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