Details Emerge About Chelsea King Investigation

John Gardner pleaded guilty earlier this month to murdering Chelsa, Amber Dubois

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC San Diego

    An East County Superior Court judge ordered the release Monday of four documents connected to the Chelsea King investigation.

    Earlier this month, John Gardner pleaded guilty to the murders of 17-year-old Chelsea King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois. According to the terms of the plea deal, he will be sentenced in June to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Details Emerge About Chelsea King Investigation

    [DGO] Details Emerge About Chelsea King Investigation
    A judge orders the release of search warrants connected to the Chelsea King case (Published Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010)

    Among the details contained in the documents: On Feb. 26 at 12:33 p.m., searchers at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, where Chelsea went running prior to her slaying, found clothing, and a yellow and white Adidas running shoe, which Chelsea's parents said were similar to those worn by Chelsea. The information was included in the "probable cause" portion of the sheriff's department's request for a search warrant for Gardner's Lake Elsinore house.

    In that same document, investigators said the Kings gave them a toothbrush, hairbrush and retainer belonging to provide investigators with her DNA.

    Officers stated that physical evidence was found on the clothing. On Feb. 28 at 9 a.m., the DNA from the clothing was matched to Chelsea. A little less than three hours later, other DNA on the clothing was matched to John Albert Gardner.

    Elsewhere in the court documents officials stated that after Gardner was identified by DNA, detectives set up surveillance at his grandmother's home in Lake Elsinore as well as at his mother's home on Matinal Road in Rancho Bernardo. Gardner was arrested at 4 p.m. that same day.

    After his arrest, officers stated that they entered both residences to determine if "Chelsea King was being held captive in the residence(s).... She was not found."

    The search warrants also reveal that a woman told a detective that on Feb. 26, she was jogging in the area when she stopped to talk with a man who matched Gardner's description. She later said she was "100 percent sure" that the man was Gardner and that she had encountered him near the Chelsea King crime scene. Another woman also told detectives she saw Gardner in the park the day Chelsea was attacked and that she also saw Chelsea that day.

    Also described in the documents are details from an interview with an 11-year-old girl, who  said Gardner stopped his car near her on Feb. 24 in the 12200 block of Paseo Lucido.

    The detective also stated in the search warrant that the shallow gave in which Chelsea's body was found "could have easily been dug by hand or using sticks which were close at hand." He also stated that Gardner's behavior "leads me to believe he was stalking another victim" one day before he attacked Chelsea. The detective said any dirt might be found at Gardner's home "could be compared to dirt found in other locations where other unconnected victims have been found and would provide valuable evidence to show Gardner's participation in other crimes."

    Judge Peter Deddeh ordered the release of the four search warrants shortly after 10 a.m. He made two "minor" redactions: one to keep private the identity of a minor, and the other to protect private information about Chelsea. The warrants are 30 pages long and were made available to the media shortly after Deddeh made his ruling.

    A little later in the day on Monday. Judge Herb Exharos heard arguments regarding the release of approximately six other search warrants in the King case. He did, in fact, order them released. They will be made available to the public at 2:30 p.m.

    In other court developments on Monday, a transcript of an April 14 ex-parte hearing in Judge David Danielsen's court, apparently regarding Gardner's plea bargain, will be released at 1:30 p.m.