crimesider

Chelsea King, Poway High School Star, Remains Missing

(Personal Photo)
(Personal Photo)
SAN DIEGO (CBS/AP) At Poway High School, the walls are decorate with photos of missing 17-year-old Chelsea King: a straight-A student who plays French horn for the San Diego Youth Symphony, runs on the school's cross-country team and actively volunteers in a peer counseling program.

Photo: Chelsea King.

PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing

Several photos have a caption that reads, "Last seen 2-25 at RB Community Park wearing running clothes."

King's family and authorities are holding out hope that she will return safely. She disappeared Thursday, and a search for her has spread over an area of about four square miles, covered with rocks and heavy vegetation. The focus of the search has been on the waters and shore of Lake Hodges, a popular area for trail runners.

Photo: Chelsea King.

PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing

John Gardner III, 30, remained in custody without bail after his arrest outside a Mexican restaurant in suburban Escondido on Sunday. Steve Walker, a spokesman for the San Diego County district attorney's office, said a decision would be made by Wednesday about filing charges against the registered sex offender.

Gardner, of Lake Elsinore, pleaded guilty in May 2000 to molesting a 13-year-old female neighbor and was sentenced to six years in prison. Prosecutors say he lured the victim to his home with an offer to watch "Patch Adams," a 1998 movie starring Robin Williams.

Sheriff Bill Gore told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that the questioning of Gardner hadn't produced any leads. Sheriff's spokeswoman, Jan Caldwell, declined to say if searches of Gardner's home and his mother's San Diego home yielded evidence.

Brent King, Chelsea's father, pleaded for anyone with information about Gardner to come forward. Investigators suspect Gardner could be tied to a Dec. 27 assault on a female jogger from Colorado who fended off her attacker in the same park.

"Anybody who knows anything about the person they have in custody — whatever you want to call him, I can't even put a word to it — please let us know," he said.

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PICTURES: Chelsea King Missing

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
March 1, 2010 - Chelsea King Facebook: 45,000 Log On To Find Missing Teen (PICTURES)
March 1, 2010 - Chelsea King: Arrest of Sex Offender Doesn't Bring Missing Teen Home (PICTURES)

  • Edecio Martinez

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