Officers, volunteers search for 17-year-old San Diego County girl missing since Thursday

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Volunteers search for missing California teen

SAN DIEGO — More than 1,000 volunteers joined in a search for a San Diego County teenager Sunday, three days after she failed to return from a jog near a lake.

About 120 law enforcement personnel led by a sheriff’s search and rescue team gathered to look for 17-year-old Chelsea King, a high school senior from the San Diego suburb of Poway, said San Diego County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. King’s BMW was found in Rancho Bernardo Community Park.

The searchers were concentrated on Lake Hodges and several streams that feed into it, as well as some surrounding hills, Caldwell said.

King’s parents reported her missing Thursday night when she didn’t come home from an afterschool run. They spent the weekend searching with volunteers and pleading for the girl’s return.

“Anybody out there if they know anything, please just help us bring her home,” mother Kelly King said. “She’s such a good girl. She needs to come home.”

Investigators were trying to determine if the disappearance was connected to a Dec. 27 assault on a woman in the park. Details of that case were not disclosed.

The search was aided by improved weather that allowed helicopter operations to resume in the area following a rainy Saturday.

About 1,400 volunteers were fanning out across the county handing out flyers with information about the missing teen.

“It’s a reflection of who she is and what kind of person she is,” Chelsea’s father, Brent Kelly, said of the numbers showing up to search. “She’s that kind of kid that everybody loves, and it shows.”

Investigators are looking for clues on the teen’s cell phone, which was found in her car, and on her home computer.

The search for Chelsea King, a straight-A student at Poway High School, also took to the Internet, where a Facebook page generated more than 24,000 fans. A Web site was created at

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