The parents of a San Diego teenager who was kidnapped and murdered while out on a run exactly seven years ago paid tribute to their daughter with a heart-wrenching message and video posted on social media.
Brent and Kelly King, parents of slain teen Chelsea King, posted a message on Facebook Saturday marking seven years since the last time they saw their daughter alive.
“Unspeakable sadness. Immeasurable love,” the message began. “These are some of the emotions that coarse through our hearts today. It’s been 7 years since we last saw our little girl. Chelsea radiated joy, and believed in the good in all people. We have learned that no amount of evil can diminish the compassion, conviction and beauty we witness daily. Nothing can separate us from Chelsea. You taught us that. We will never forget the gift you have given us.”
In a high-profile case that sent shock waves through San Diego County, Chelsea, only 17, was kidnapped on Feb. 25, 2010, while out on a run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, by sexual predator John Albert Gardner III. The Poway High School senior’s body was found five days later in the Lake Hodges area.
On May 15, 2010, Gardner was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the rape and murder of Chelsea, as well as that of Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, 14, who vanished in a similar, disturbing case in February 2009.
The following year, the King family worked to pass Chelsea’s Law in California, which enhances criminal sentences for violent sexual offenders who commit crimes against children.
Today, Brent and Kelly King run the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to their daughter that aims to support youth and spreading positive change in the community.
Their social media message on Saturday was posted to the Chelsea’s Light Foundation Facebook page, and also included this paragraph for those who continue to support the work of their family.
“You also showed us that together we can make a difference in the lives of all kids by passing tougher laws that lock up the cowards that harm them. Help us protect more kids by asking one friend, co-worker, or family member to like us on social media. The larger our following the more the politicians pay attention to our goal!”
The post included a touching tribute video with snippets of home videos of Chelsea as a toddler, child and teen – and her loved ones talking about what made her so special.
“Everything about her – was light. She was one of those girls that would just light up a room,” Chelsea’s brother, Tyler King, said in the video tribute.
Next Saturday, March 4, the Chelsea’s Light Foundation will hold its 7th annual Finish Chelsea’s Run, a community 5K walk/run in memory of the teen and the run she was never able to finish.
The event serves as a fundraiser for the organization’s Sunflower Scholarship Fund, which will help award 10 scholarships to college-bound teens who embody “service over self” traits. NBC 7 is the television media partner for the event; our NBC 7 team will be there to support participants and Chelsea’s loved ones at the run.