Murdered by a Monster Who Shouldn’t Have Been Free

Chelsea King and Amber Dubois were killed by a man already convicted of sex crimes against girls.

Verity Partington


Murder victims Amber Dubois (L) and Chelsea King (R) (Image: KPBS)

It was February 2010, and 17-year-old Chelsea King from San Diego was a senior in high school who looked all set to move on to great things. She was a keen track runner and a bright student who had already applied to 11 colleges in preparation for the following fall.

However, when she failed to return from one of her typical jogs, the desperate ensuing search would not only bring about devastating news for her family, but also solve a missing persons case from a year earlier and a terrifying attack just a few weeks before. This is the story of Chelsea, Amber, Candice — and the predator who shouldn’t have been free to target them in the first place.

Chelsea vanishes

Renowned for its gentle climate and miles of open parkland, the Californian city of San Diego is a runner’s paradise. On February 25th 2010, Chelsea King was making the most of the still-mild winter’s afternoon where she lived by going for a jog along the trails around Rancho Bernando Community Park, as she often did after school and at the weekends.

However, as the evening wore on and Chelsea still didn’t return, her family grew worried. Her father Brent retraced her route along the trail towards Lake Hodges and found her car and her phone, but no sign of the teenager at all.

The police were called and the search intensified, with the FBI and local law enforcement assisted by hundreds of volunteers out looking along the marshy land around where Chelsea frequently jogged. Sniffer dogs, drones and helicopters were also brought in to cover the rougher terrain, in case the young woman was lying injured somewhere and couldn’t reach help.

Then, investigators received a blow in their hopes of finding Chelsea alive: they discovered her underwear and socks discarded along part of the trail. Fearing the worst as the hours ticked by, the clothing was sent to the crime lab for analysis.

It revealed a vital clue — DNA material belonging to someone already in the police database for molesting a 13-year-old girl years earlier. Police now knew…



Verity Partington

A writer and author of crime thrillers living in the UK. Partial to books, stationery, papercrafts and walking. You can find her books on Amazon here: https://a