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Sex offender will be charged in Chelsea King’s disappearance, San Diego County D.A.’s office says

John Albert Gardner III will be charged in connection with the disappearance of 17-year-old Chelsea King at an arraignment hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, the San Diego County district attorney's office said. 

Authorities also announced that Gardner, a registered sex offender, has been linked to an attack in December of another young female jogger in the same park where King was last seen.

Spokesman Paul Levikow of the district attorney's office said specific charges have yet to be announced. Gardner is being held on suspicion of murder and rape.

Hundreds of law enforcement authorities and volunteers continued searching for clues Tuesday in the hilly terrain around Lake Hodges where King, a high school senior, had gone jogging Thursday afternoon.

King's mother, in a television news interview Monday, said authorities found her daughter's underwear in the lake area. Gardener was arrested outside a Mexican restaurant in the lakeside community of Del Dios. His pants were damp, according to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

In the December incident, a 22-year-old woman was approached by a man who tackled her and demanded money. She escaped after hitting him in the face, bloodying her elbow. San Diego police did not disclose how they linked Gardner to the attack. San Diego Police Capt. Jim Collins said DNA testing of the victim did not turn up a match to Gardner.

Gardner, 30, 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
 
Comments () | Archives (5)

BREAKING NEWS: A body was just found in the area where Chelsea King went missing. News conference scheduled for 3:45.

I just hope the law emforcement and DA's personnel have gathered the evidence and get it preserved properly. Now I have to ask if this suspect may be connected to some prior attacks and also a disappearance of a young woman in Escondido? He does fit the mold of a predator.

There should be no plea bargains for violent sex offenders. Unfortunately, for Chelsea, he managed to escape a 30 year sentence because of a plea deal where he only served five. The prosecutors at the time should be ashamed of themselves and should personally apologize to Chelsea's family.

It's too easy to discribe my disgust and outrage over this senseless and AVOIDABLE crime. Our society is robbed of yet another contributor to its well being while a mistake of nature is allowed the gift of life and the secret hope to repeat his offense again.

Anyone who believes these monsters can be rehabilitated is a fool, and they love you for it.

The best I can do here is to plead that Mother's and Father's enroll their children in a defense class and encourage their physical fitness in order to FIGHT BACK because the law won't!

This guy needs to be tried, convicted and executed within the next month...If later he is exonerated of the murder, well, at least there will be one less child molester walking about...


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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