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Poway Girl’s Disappearance Keeps Public Safety On People’s Minds


Aired 3/2/10

The disappearance of 17-year-old Chelsea King last week in the community of Poway has some people asking "is anyone safe anywhere?" There are no easy answers according to one public safety expert.

— Heidi Broder lives in Poway. Last year, her 19-year-old daughter graduated from Poway High School. That's the same school Chelsea King attended until she vanished during a solo run last Thursday. Broder says King's disappearance has shaken the middle-class, tight-knit community.

"Very unusual," she said "I mean, that's why I think this is hitting so close to home because this kind of thing doesn't happen here."

King disappeared in Rancho Bernardo Community Park near Lake Hodges. Assistant San Diego Police Chief Boyd Long says thousands of people go running or walk their dogs there each year without incident. Long says Chelsea can't be blamed for going there alone.

"I don't know that she could have done anything differently," Long said. "She has a right to be able to go any place she wants and she should feel safe in doing that. Unfortunately, that day Chelsea and this suspect somehow collided. This person who we believe is responsible at this point is a predator, is someone who probably would have done something like this even if he had been in another area."

John Gardner III is in police custody. He's a registered sex offender. Police believe he may be linked to the case. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow.

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Avatar for user 'jimvsmij'

jimvsmij | March 2, 2010 at 9:27 a.m. ― 7 years ago

As a child who grew up in San Diego during the early 80's - during most of our summer break my friends and I would play deep in the canyons which were a good hike from home. From the start we developed the buddy system because of dangers from rattle snakes, mountain lion, coyotes, (angry raccoon in one case) and strange people we would sometimes see lurking in the bushes. We would also also never go without our hunting knives on our belts and high powered air guns loaded and ready to fire. We never got hurt or never ran into serious trouble. If this was common sense to a 10 year old then it should be common sense to the rest of us. Don't let your children go out to secluded places alone and without defense. NEVER!

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