The Kings to Leave San Diego

Kelly King needed help packing up Chelsea's room

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010  |  Updated 8:09 AM PDT
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Chelsea King Family Photos

NBCSanDiego

Brent and Kelly King on March 24

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The family of slain Poway teenager Chelsea King is moving back to Illinois tomorrow but Brent and Kelly King say they won't be turning their backs on San Diego.

After the emotional turmoil that followed 17-year-old Chelsea's murder in February, the family wants to return to a place where 13-year old Tyler King could have both familiar surroundings and anonymity.

The Kings are headed to Naperville, a suburb where they lived for 10 years before coming to Poway in 2007. Brent King will start a new job providing online mortgage rates to the MLS database for real estate agents.

"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 to fans of Chelsea's Light on Facebook.

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.

One of the toughest moments in preparing for the move was packing up Chelsea's room.

"I was able to go through her room and do some of the initial packing," Kelly King told the paper. "But I couldn't do it. I did as much as I could, and then my niece and other family members stepped in.

"They are so lovingly wrapping everything and putting it into the boxes with such love and such care that when we get back to Naperville ---- and when we are ready ---- we will be able to open those (boxes) in time.

"I don't know how long it will take," she said of the emotional toll of going through her daughter's possessions. "But it will be like little gifts."

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

"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 Gardner while going on a jog in Rancho Bernardo Community Park in February. Gardner pleaded guilty to the murders of Chelsea and 14-year-old Amber Dubois in April and was sentenced to life in prison. 

The Kings are still considering whether to file a claim against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in connection to the tracking of Gardner, who was a registered violent sex offender at the time of Chelsea King's murder.

 Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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