Fact Check

Missing Girl - Chelsea King

A 17-year-old girl named Chelsea King is missing from her San Diego-area home.

Published Mar 2, 2010


Claim:   A 17-year-old girl named Chelsea King is missing from her San Diego-area home.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2010]

Hello all, Our beloved Chelsea went missing yesterday afternoon in Poway, CA. Attached is a recent photo of her and below is some basic information. Please forward this to everyone you know.

Chelsea King
Age 17
5'5, 115 pounds
Blond Hair, Blue eyes
Senior at Poway High School
Honor Student, straight A's
Peer counseling
Cross Country Runner
Clean Up San Diego Volunteer
Tutor to San Diego Youth
Responsible, Conscientious, Loving, Intelligent, Cherished by all who know her

Her car was located thurs late afternoon (2/25) in the Rancho Bernardo Community center parking lot. We believe she went running.

If you have ANY Information at all, please contact the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 and PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYBODY YOU KNOW. HELP US FIND OUR CHELSEA.


Origins:  On Thursday, 25 February 2010, 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway (a city near San Diego, California) failed to return home following an after-school run. The following evening, the Poway High School senior's still-locked automobile was found in a parking lot at the Rancho Bernardo Community Park in that community.

On 2 March 2010, the body of Chelsea King was found in a shallow grave near Lake Hodges.

John Albert Gardner III, a 30-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested on suspicion of murder and rape in connection with King's disappearance. Gardner had been convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl ten years earlier (for which he spent five years in prison) and was suspected in the 27 December 2009 attack on a female jogger in the same general area where Chelsea vanished. Amber Dubois, a 14-year-old girl, also disappeared in that same area on 13 February 2009.

On 16 April 2010, Gardner pled guilty to the rape and murder of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. During his allocution, he also admitted to the attempted rape of the female jogger mentioned above. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and waived his right to appeal.

Last updated:   20 April 2010


    ABC News.   "Parents Watch as Sex Offender Admits Killing Teens."

    6 April 2010.

    CNN.   "Man Arrested in Teen's Disappearance."

    1 March 2010.

    10 News [San Diego].   "Search Intensifies for Missing Poway Teen; Sex Offender Held."

    1 March 2010.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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