The Kings Are Leaving San Diego

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM PDT
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Images: Chelsea Changemakers

AP

Brent King, left, Kelly King, right, and Tyler King, center, look back towards the crowd as they leave a memorial service.

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The family of slain Poway teen Chelsea King says they are moving back to Illinois.

In a letter posted Friday on the website chelseaslight.com, Brent and Kelly King and their 13-year-old son Tyler said they will move next month to Illinois, where they lived for 10 years before coming to the San Diego suburb of Poway in 2007.

"After many hours of painstaking contemplation, several heart to heart conversations with Tyler and with the trusted counsel of our closest friends, family and health professionals, we have made the decision to relocate to Naperville," the family wrote.

Brent King said that after the emotional turmoil that followed 17-year-old Chelsea's murder the family wanted to return to a place where Tyler could have both familiar surroundings and anonymity.

"As Kelly and I begin to map out how to best move forward in our 'new normal,' our first priority is our son, he said. "It is in Naperville where Tyler will be able to enter a familiar community with a sense of anonymity, which for someone of his age and stage in life, is of the utmost importance to his well being."

The family says it will continue to nurture and expand San Diego-based Chelsea’s Light Foundation nationally. They have secured a second residence in San Diego and will commute to and from Naperville on a monthly basis.

"As certain as we are that we have made the right decision, it did not come easily and without trepidation. Our San Diego community has cradled us in the darkest time of our lives and made it possible for us to put one foot in front of the other in a moment when it felt utterly impossible," the family wrote.

Chelsea was murdered and raped by John Albert Gardner while going on a jog in Rancho Bernardo Community Park in February.

She was a straight-A student who ran on the cross-country team, played French horn in the San Diego Youth Symphony and was active in her school's peer counseling program.

Chelsea was a tireless volunteer in school and community activities, whether working at a prom for special education students or packaging food for needy families in Africa.

She had applied to 11 colleges and aspired to a career that would combine her interests in writing and the environment

Gardner pleaded guilty to the murders of Chelsea and 14-year-old Amber Dubois. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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