Southern California Man Pleads Guilty to Teens' Murders

By pleading guilty to the murders of Chelsea King, 17 and Amber Dubois, 14, John Gardner will spend the rest of his life in a jail cell, and will not face the death penalty. The San Diego RCFL was involved in the forensic analysis of several computers from both investigations.

By pleading guilty to the murders of Chelsea King, 17, and Amber Dubois, 14, John Gardner will spend the rest of his life in a jail cell, and will not face the death penalty. The San Diego RCFL(SDRCFL) was involved in the forensic analysis of several computers for both investigations.


Chelsea King was reported missing on February 25, 2010 after she went for a jog in a local San Diego park and never came home. Her remains were found in a shallow grave five days later, near the home of Gardner's mother. Gardner, a convicted sex offender, admitted to raping, murdering, and burying Chelsea. Three days after being arraigned for Chelsea's murder, Gardner led authorities to the grave of Amber Dubois, another San Diego area teen who was reported missing in 2009. In addition to pleading guilty to the murders of Chelsea and Amber, Gardner also admitted to sexually assaulting another woman on December 27, 2009, in the same park where he attacked Chelsea. He faces an additional 33 years to life for that assault.


The San Diego District Attorney's Office and the Escondido Police Department – both are participating agencies in the SDRCFL – played a major role in both investigations, along with other area law enforcement departments. Gardner's sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2010.