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Registered Sex Offender Arrested in Disappearance of SoCal Teen Girl

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KTLA: A registered sex offender was arrested today in connection with the disappearance of 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway, as the search for her continued.

John Albert Gardner III, 30, of Lake Elsinore, was taken into custody in front of a business on Lake Drive near Rancho Drive in Escondido at 4:20 p.m., Sheriff Bill Gore said at a news conference tonight at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, where Chelsea went missing on Thursday.

Gardner was being interviewed by homicide detectives and is also a suspect in an attack on a female jogger at the park on Dec. 27, and the disappearance of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who went missing while walking to Escondido High School just over a year ago, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Physical evidence led authorities to Gardner, Gore said. ``This investigation is ongoing and specific criminal charges are still being determined," he said.

The search for Chelsea will continue overnight and will expand beyond the Rancho Bernardo park and nearby Lake Hodges, where search teams have been looking since she disappeared Thursday.

``There are several searches going on around the county," Gore said. ``We are going to refocus some of our search efforts."

Chelsea's parents, Brent and Kelly King, reported her missing Thursday evening when she did not come home from a run at the park.

Brent King found her car in the parking lot at the park, the Union- Tribune reported.

Hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement personnel have been searching for her since then.

Investigators looked for clues on Chelsea's cell phone, which was found in her car, and her home computer.

The Poway High School senior is a straight-A student and a member of the San Diego Symphony.

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