Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Disappearance and Murder of 17-Year-Old Chelsea King

Body Found

Shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, a member of the police diving team found a body in a isolated area along the south side of Lake Hodges, approximately 10 feet from the waterline, in what could best be described as a shallow grave. It was covered by a layer of earth and debris, approximately one-half mile from where Chelsea's car had been found at Rancho Bernardo Community Park the previous week. The body was in the same area where a running shoe had previously been reported as having been found. More than 1,000 volunteers had been searching for the missing teen since the weekend, braving nearly incessant rainfall and the resulting mud.

Chelsea King
Chelsea King
Much to the heartbreak of everyone involved, especially Brent and Kelly King, the body found at the lake was quickly identified as that of Chelsea King. Her parents, naturally, were crushed by the terrible news.

"I can't begin to describe the depth of sorrow," Kelly King said on NBC San Diego in an interview two days before Chelsea's body was found, in which she and her husband described the pain and despair they had been going through. "It's been a nightmare...it's your worst nightmare."

"My body hasn't stopped shaking since I came to the realization of what was occurring," Brent King added. "You just feel a complete amount of emptiness and helplessness."

Later, both parents said that the discovery of Chelsea's body had brought some closure, but it was still the worst day of their lives.

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