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Suspected killer lived near school

SAN DIEGO, April 8 (UPI) -- Officials knew that a sex offender now charged with killing a California teenager lived close to an elementary school, a newspaper said.

John Gardner had been living within half a mile of Walker Elementary School in Mira Mesa for almost two years before he was ordered to move, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday. The newspaper said it reviewed records that show officials only learned Gardner was living at an address that violated his parole conditions after he had been there seven months, that he had been given permission to remain for three months until his lease expired, and that he was then overlooked for another 13 months.

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Gardner spent five years in prison after he admitted in 2000 he molested and beat a 13-year-old. He moved to Mira Mesa in October 2005 after his parole officer said his previous quarters were too close to a school.

He was ordered to move again in 2007.

Gardner was arrested in February on suspicion of killing Chelsea King, 17, who had disappeared while jogging in a San Diego park. Her body was found in early March.

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