Kings Learning to Navigate New Life

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego
    Brent and Kelly King on March 24

    Six months ago today, volunteers were gathering near Lake Hodges to search for a missing teenager from Poway.

    Chelsea King, 17, was eventually found four days later, the victim of murderer and rapist John Gardner.

    After Gardner’s sentencing to life in prison for the crime and the disappearance and murder of Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, Chelsea’s parents Kelly and Brent King decided to move from San Diego to Naperville, the community in Illinois where Chelsea grew up.

    It was from there this week that the Kings sat down and talked about the recent approval of a bill proposing changes to how the state handles convicted sex offenders like the man who killed their daughter.

    “We’re learning every day how to navigate our new life,” Chelsea’s mother Kelly King told a Chicago television reporter. “It’s not getting easier.”

    “We’re just learning how to steer through the days,” she said.

    Earlier this week, the California state senate approved the bill known as “Chelsea’s Law.” It is now headed to the desk of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who has indicated in the past that he will sign it.

    When Kelly King heard that the bill was approved, she said it as an overwhelmingly emotional moment.

    “I had tears streaming down my face. I was so very proud,” Kelly King said from her new hometown near Chicago.

    "You have to choose hope and you have to be an agent for change," said Brent King, Chelsea's father. "That's what our daughter would ask of us."

    Moving to Naperville was necessary for their son, the Kings decided. Tyler started class at his new high school this week.

    “In San Diego, Tyler’s known as Chelsea’s brother. Here, Tyler can be Tyler,” Brent King said.

    The Kings haven’t cut all ties with Poway. At the time of their move, The family will keep an apartment in the North County and plan to return to the area about once a month, according to our media partners the North County Times.

    The Kings also plan to run the San Diego-based Chelsea’s Light Foundation from donated office space in Carmel Valley.