Chelsea's Father: We Still Sense Her Spirit

Poway teen's legacy continues on anniversary of disappearance

By Marc Julick and Artie Ojeda
|  Saturday, Feb 25, 2012  |  Updated 3:51 PM PDT
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Finish Chelsea's Run will feature biodegradable bibs which runners can plant. Sunflowers will grow from seeds embedded in the bibs, as Artie Ojeda reports.

Finish Chelsea's Run will feature biodegradable bibs which runners can plant. Sunflowers will grow from seeds embedded in the bibs, as Artie Ojeda reports.

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Two years ago, Poway teenager Chelsea King disappeared during a run through the Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Her body was found five days later near Lake Hodges.

On Saturday, the anniversary of her disappearance, King's father says he can still sense her spirit.

"Two years ago my family’s life was changed forever," Brent King posted Saturday on the Chelsea's Light Facebook page. "Instead of being able to enjoy watching our beautiful girl thrive in her life, we hear her in every song bird, we feel her in the sunshine, and we see her in your compassionate eyes when you comfort us.

"We will not allow evil to take away the love we share. It only grows stronger. Thank you for your prayers, they are powerful."

Through the Chelsea's Light Foundation, her legacy grows stronger, too.

After the 17-year-old's tragic death, Chelsea's parents succesfully fought to enact "Chelsea's Law," a one-strike policy for anyone convicted of certain sex offenses, guaranteeing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

John Gardner was found guilty for her murder and also confessed to the rape and murder of Amber Dubois, a 14-year-old Escondido resident who disappeared in February 2009. Gardner was previously convicted for molesting a teen girl but was released after serving five years in prison.

The second-annual Finish Chelsea's Run 5K Run/Walk will take place next Saturday, beginning at Balboa Park. NBC 7 San Diego is an event sponsor.

Participants will receive a “running bib" but with a twist: The paper contains wildflower seeds, which can be planted and grown in her honor.

Event proceeds benefit the Sunflower Scholarship Fund; more than $100,000 was raised at last year's run. Further information on Finish Chelsea's Run is available on the foundation's official website.

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