The family of 17 year old homicide victim Chelsea King released a statement on Friday, June 18, 2010 saying that they will be traveling back to their Illinois home. Father Brent King, his wife Kelly, and 13 year old son Tyler will return to Naperville in July of this year in hopes that they will be able to mourn their daughter’s passing without the weight of publicity. The King’s say that son Tyler is having a challenging time in San Diego and they want to reside in an area where Tyler can have “both warm and familiar surroundings without the added attention that comes with being the brother of a well known murder victim.”
The King’s also have faith that the move will make it easier for him to grieve. Recently Brent King posted a letter on their website Chelseaslight.com stating, “As Kelly and I begin to map out how to best move forward in our new normal, our first priority is our son.” Brent and Kelly King formed a campaign for “Chelsea’s Law,” which would distribute life sentences to a number of convicted child molesters while others would have to wear lifetime electronic monitoring devices. This bill has cleared the state Assembly and is now before the Senate. 17 Year old Chelsea King was attacked by convicted and registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III while taking a run in a popular San Diego park near her home on February 25th.
King’s body was found days later strangled, sexually assaulted, and buried in a shallow, lakeside grave. Gardner admitted to the sexual assault and murder of Chelsea when police discovered DNA evidence on Chelsea’s body that linked him to her death. In addition John Albert Gardner III admitted being responsible for the similar sex slaying of 14 year old Amber Dubois just one year earlier whom he abducted on her way to school. John Albert Garner III was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last month. Gardner will be remanded in a California prison where he will serve out his sentence.
Chelsea King was an exceptional musician, runner, and honor roll student at Poway High School and over 6,000 people attended her memorial service in March. Chelsea was described as a “quirky, affable, driven, and compassionate person” by friends who painted a great picture of her. She will be desperately missed by family, friends, and all who had the opportunity to meet her.