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Chelsea King: Arrest of Sex Offender Doesn't Bring Missing Teen Home (PICTURES)

(Personal Photo)
(Personal Photo)
(Personal Photo)
SAN DIEGO (CBS/AP) Will Chelsea King, a 17-year-old high school student from San Diego, be found alive?

Photo: Chelsea King

PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing
PICTURES: Chelsea King Vigil, Family Mourns

On Sunday, a massive search effort, including 1,400 volunteers and 100 law enforcement officers failed to find the straight-A student from Poway High School.

Meanwhile, 75 miles from her home, police arrested John Albert Gardner, a 30-year-old sex offender, who they believe might be tied to the case. Police found physical evidence against Gardner, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore told the Associated Press in an interview.

But so far, Gardner's arrest has not led to King.

Photo: Chelsea King

PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing
PICTURES: Chelsea King Vigil, Family Mourns

"Nothing will change for us until our beautiful daughter, Chelsea King, comes home," her parents Brent and Kelly King said in a statement released through a family spokeswoman Sunday night. "We will continue searching for her, and we ask that all of you do the same until she's back with us."

Photo: Chelsea King

PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing
PICTURES: Chelsea King Vigil, Family Mourns

King disappeared last Thursday after going for a run near Lake Hodges at Rancho Bernardo Community Park in San Diego, a popular regional park full of running trails. Her car, with her cell phone and iPod inside, were found later that night.

Her BMW was found in the park after she failed to return to her home in suburban Poway, Calif. on Thursday, sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

Gore said the search for King and for further evidence would continue through the night and expand beyond the park.

"There are several searches going on around the county," Gore said. "We are going to refocus some of our search efforts."

That refocusing included deciding what to do with Gardner.

"This investigation is ongoing and specific criminal charges are still being determined," Gore said at a news conference.

Gardner was taken into custody at a restaurant in Escondido shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday and investigators searched his Riverside County home.

Investigators also suspect Gardner could be tied to a Dec. 27 assault on a female jogger from Colorado Springs, Gore said.

He was required to register as a sex offender because of a conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, the Megan's Law Web site said.

It was not immediately clear whether Gardner has hired an attorney.

On the Internet, the search for Chelsea King has grown. A Facebook page generated more than 24,000 fans. A Web site was created at findchelsea.com.

Chelsea King is described as 5'5", 115 pounds, petite build and strawberry blonde hair. She was last seen wearing running clothes.

MEDIA
PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing
PICTURES: Chelsea King Vigil, Family Mourns

  • Edecio Martinez

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