Sometime Thursday afternoon, Brent and Kelly King realized that their daughter, Chelsea, was more than just late from her run in nearby Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Since her father reported her missing, some 200 rescue workers, law enforcement officials, and volunteers have searched a five-mile area in and around the park for two days, hoping to find more than just her locked car, which was found in a parking area of the park. As the search nears 72 hours, investigators have yet to find anything that would cause them to think the Poway High School cross country runner was abducted.
But Chelsea King doesnâ€™t fit the profile of a runaway. Likeable, energetic, a straight-A student, and no history of trouble, San Diego County officials are treating her disappearance as a missing persons case. The FBI has joined the hunt. Dogs, divers, and helicopters have been employed in the searches that have fanned out within the park and along possible routes the teen may have taken on her run (which reportedly would usually encompass five or more miles). Posters of Chelsea King are plastered all over Poway and nearby towns and classmates took a day off from school Friday to pass out fliers on the streets of Poway and nearby Escondido to help in finding the missing teen.
â€œWe have probably 150 to 250 deputies, officers, agents and volunteers all night long and they will continue to stay here as long as needed,” Jan Caldwell, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, told reporters.
Sign On San Diego reported that radio chatter indicated that a running shoe and a pedometer had been found during the searches, but officials made no comment as to whether or not either item was germane to Chelsea Kingâ€™s case.
The 17-year-old long-distance runner is described as 5′ 5″, blond-haired, blue-eyed, weighing approximately 115 pounds. Anyone with information regardingÂ Chelsea King’sÂ disappearance or having information that would lead to establishing her whereabouts are urged to call the San Diego County Sheriffâ€™s Department at (858) 565-5200 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (619) 531-2000.