Chelsea King’s body was found yesterday bringing the six day search to find the teenager to a sad end. Chelsea’s last minutes of life were most likely spent fighting off John Gardner, a sex offender who is being held for the rape and murder of this beautiful 17 year old girl.
Chelsea went for a jog in her usually place, and area park, and never returned. Gardner’s DNA had been discovered on an article of Chelsea’s clothing, that was found by searchers days before her body was found. This lead authorities to arrest the sex offender.
John Gardner was identified by a brave woman, Candice Moncayo, who was a victim of John Gardner’s attack strategy a few weeks earlier. Candice, 23, who was out jogging in the same area as Chelsea used when attacked, was able to fend Gardner off and escape. When she heard of Chelsea’s disappearance she helped by identifying Gardner in a photo line-up.
Candice told her story to her sister, Kayla Moncayo, who wrote about it in a story for the Rancho Bernardo High School newspaper, the Silver Spur. Kayla is the opinion editor for the newspaper. The story details the way Gardner came out of nowhere and tackled Candice to the ground. It also tells of her harrowing actions to get away from the man’s grip. This story, which aired on ABC, may give us an indication of what horrific acts Chelsea endured during the last minutes of her life.
Kayla Moncayo wrote that her sister, Candice was running on the trail when she “was tackled and thrown to the side of the running trail, caught off guard and without warning,”.
Candice thought that the overweight man was going to rape her, the story went on to say. Candice said to the man, “That he would have to kill me first.”
The large man picked Candice up by the shoulders and “began shaking her relentlessly” the story went on to say.
Candice fought her attacker back, she gave it her all to try and get away from him. She finally succeeded by “elbowing hard him in the nose”. This gave her a second to get out of his grasp as he paused from the shock of the blow. She was able to run away from him in that split seconds time.
Candice is a runner, so she had that on her side, the man was overweight and did not have much chance at catching up with the young woman.
According to the article “all that was left from the attacker were the bruises that Candice received from his tackling her to the ground and his grip when shaking her.” “He also left behind DNA that the police were able to swab off of Candice’s elbow, the one that made contact with the assailant’s nose. The life saving blow with the elbow is what saved Candice’s life. “
Chelsea would have more than likely experienced her first few minutes of her attack in the same way. Candice was lucky enough to get away, Chelsea was not. This is a heartbreaking tragedy for the family of this lovely young girl. Especially as we are given some insight into what her last minutes must have been like on this earth. The terror and fear she most of felt towards this man is unbearable to think about.
References: ABC Good Morning America