Gardner is a registered sex offender from Lake Elsinore. In a press conference Sunday night, police would not divulge any details of what evidence they found that linked Gardner to the missing teen. They did say that homicide detectives were currently interviewing Gardner.
Seventeen-year-old high school student Chelsea King from Poway went for an after-school run around Lake Hodges Thursday and hasn't been seen since.
Her BMW was found in neighboring Rancho Bernardo Community Park
All weekend long, about 120 law enforcement officers and over 1,000 volunteers have been combing open areas using tracking dogs. Divers are also searching the lake.
The teen's mother is begging for her daughter's safe return.
"Anybody out there, if you know anything please just help us bring her home," said the teen's mother, Kelly King. "She's such a good girl, and she needs to come home."
King attends Poway High School and is a straight-A student. She's also a member of the San Diego Symphony.
Investigators are looking at several leads, including the assault of another woman in the same area in December.
They're also looking at King's cell phone that they found in her car, as well as her home computer for clues.