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Search continues in San Diego County for missing 17-year-old girl

San Diego County investigators continued their search Monday for a missing 17-year-old girl after a man was arrested in connection with her disappearance.

John Albert Gardner III, 30, was arrested Sunday afternoon outside a business in Escondido after investigators uncovered evidence linking the registered sex offender to the disappearance of Chelsea King from the Lake Hodges area, authorities said in a statement.

“During the search the last three days we have obtained numerous pieces of physical evidence in the search scene,” San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Monday in an interview with ABC's “Good Morning America.” “One of those pieces of evidence we were able to tie to John Gardner.”

Gardner, of Lake Elsinore, was convicted in a previous incident of one count of lewd acts with a child under 14, according to state records.

King disappeared Thursday after failing to return from an afternoon run near Lake Hodges, investigators said. Helicopters scoured the area and volunteers waded chest-deep in the murky water looking for signs of the Poway High School senior.

Friends set up a Facebook page and website to help the search effort. The case is being handled by homicide investigators.

-- Amina Khan

Photos: Searchers examine a backpack discovered along a creek near Lake Hodges in Escondido. Credit: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times. Photo of Gardner. Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

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Comments () | Archives (12)

DNA registries are more effective than making anyone and everyone a registered offender that ever did something inappropriate (not dangerous) despite the specifics of each case. Thousands are having to register who are NOT dangerous because of the heinous crimes of a few in comparison. More laws requiring registration is not the answer! The more who are required to register will be more that have to be killed according to people on this board and others.

Let's put him somewhere safe....

I think it's kind of a sad thing that when a white girl disappears it gets so much media attention. If it is a black or latina girl, she ends up on a milk carton or some direct mail with dry cleaning coupons on the other side.

It's sad what happened to this girl, yet this is not "breaking" super important news. This is on the front page of Google news. It's one of the top stories, and considering the economy, two wars, and two major earthquakes, I think it's getting way more coverage than it deserves. 800,000 children go missing every year and the media only seems to care when it is a white girl.

Are we going to hear about this for weeks and weeks, like Natalee Holloway, while minority women just disappear without any concern? To be fair, the media should either give such attention to missing minority women, or position this story with it's appropriate importance.

It goes to show -- even with a black president, we still value the lives of Caucasians far more than anyone else. It makes me sick...

This is why I tend to stay away from the mass media and get my news from public broadcasting. Jim Lehrer simply would not cover the disappearance of one Caucasian girl as top news. The only reason I am here and posting this is because I did a quick check of Google news, and I was like -- hmm... 1 missing white girl is top news? Really?

It's a shame when anyone is abducted. But there are two crimes -- the abduction and the unbalanced media coverage. What can we expect? Journalists are simply glorified English majors that tend to bungle the details and take corporate PR speak as the absolute truth. Of course they think white people are better than everyone else -- the few minorities in the mainstream media are self-loathing shills.

Child molesters/sex offenders should NEVER be let out of prison. There is no cure. A hug and some love will not make them all better. If they are let out put them all together. We have a huge desert here in CA. Put up some razor wire and tents.

missing the whole point

To Citizen60: To a certain extent I agree with the point youre trying to make. I agree that in relation to a series of major earthqukes around the world and multiple wars being fought, the disappearance of a 17 year old San Diego doesnt seem all that important, race aside. However this is more than your typical "runaway teen." This specific teens disappearance is tied to a registered sex-offender, who may or may not have murdered her. Reguardless of race, a child is missing. Rather than reflect on an already negative situation with more contempt, why not acknowlegde the great issue which is finding this girl and continue to find ways to protect our children from predetors.

Way to turn the disappearance of a young girl into a race issue... I ask, who is the racist?!?!? Get a life.


Citizen60 is right. Hundreds of children go missing every single day. We only hear about it when it's a celebrity. Or a rich white girl.

There is also a 31 year old black women from Maywood CA missing. I don't see any front page writeup. Naturally, there is considerable resources dedicated for the missing Caucasian women. Sad, just really sad and pathetic how citizens are treated unequally.

Agree with darthnader. Unfortunately, this is the glaring disparity in our society. The media knows the pretty blonde girl missing is a good read, and minority missing women are not, and are relegated to the back pages. It is a throw-back to a racist culture that values whites over minorities. It's not changing this story into a race issue, it is merely a fact. ALL endangered missing women and children should be of the utmost priority.

Who cares if it is a white girl, Black or Hispanic etc., The point of the article is that a promising young girl's life was ended by a degenerate sex offending douchebag of a human being who has a prior conviction against a girl 14 years old or less. Darthnader you are ridicoulous in your liberal assumptions that media coverage is biased to caucasians. And as far as our dope and change president, Some things are better off unspoken. Now, back to the scumbag at hand. It is time that we stop playing with violent felons and sex offenders and eliminate them from society appropriately. Enough emphasis on the "rights" of criminals and more concern for the victims families whose lives are changed for the worse forever. First neutering and then a painful execution would suffice. They have no purpose or value in civilized society, And please spare me the bleeding heart objections about their rights, Once they purposely kill to satisfy their own sociopathic gratification they give up their rights.

Well Chelsea King was stalked by a typical sex offender, her abduction happened in day light hours while one is arrested it's unknown if more offenders are involved.
But in stark contrast Mitrice Richardson was purposely thrown to the wolves by officer's of the LOst Hills Sheriff Station, yeah the victem is yet another young woman but the colors are clearly black & white.
Tell me has the LASD/LAPD even try to identify the woman found burned in Santa Fe trash bin, or was her nationality considered disposable also?


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