Steven Stayner Kidnapping Story: Where Is Kidnapper Kenneth Parnell Now?

Who Kidnapped Steven Stayner

Who Kidnapped Steven Stayner? Is Kenneth Parnell Dead or Alive? – Steven Gregory Stayner was a kidnapping victim from the United States. Stayner, then seven years old, was kidnapped by child molester Kenneth Parnell on December 4, 1972, in Merced, California. Stayner was approached on his way home from school on December 4, 1972, by a man named Ervin Edward Murphy, who had met convicted child rapist Kenneth Parnell while they both worked at a resort in Yosemite National Park. He was kidnapped and held captive by his abductor 200 miles away in Mendocino County, California, until he was 14, when he managed to flee with Timothy White, another of Parnell’s victims. Stayner died in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work in 1989.

Steven Stayner Jr. was just seven years old when he was kidnapped in 1972. This was the start of seven years of abuse while he was separated from his family. Steven returned after all those years in a wonderful story of perseverance, saving another child in the process. ‘Captive Audience,’ a Hulu exclusive series, digs into the fascinating yet tragic case of Steven. We’ve got you covered if you’re curious about what happened to him.

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Kenneth Parnell
Kenneth Parnell

Who kidnapped Steven Stayner, and where did he end up?

Steven was a 7-year-old living with his family in Merced, California, at the time of the occurrence. He was walking home from a highway on December 4, 1972, when Ervin Murphy and his associate, Kenneth Parnell, approached him. They both approached Steven and asked if he would make a donation to the church. They offered him a ride home when the 7-year-old said his mother would be willing.

Steven, on the other hand, was not transported to his home. Kenneth took him instead to a cabin in Catheys Valley, California. When the boy got inside, he was greeted with toys, but Kenneth also told him something frightening. He persuaded Steven that his parents no longer wanted him since they couldn’t afford to look after him. When the child did not return home, the parents contacted the police, who conducted a thorough search but found nothing.

The Stayners endured the misery of not knowing where Steven was for the next seven years. He was with Kenneth at the time, who travelled around a lot, staying in different trailer parks and motels. During those seven years, he had also sexually and psychologically assaulted Steven.

It was a form of brainwashing in which unpleasant experiences were alternated with pleasant ones. Kenneth informed Steven that his parents had abandoned him after relinquishing custody. He was frequently misidentified as Kenneth’s son and enrolled in small, distant schools.

Steven later admitted to having intercourse with Barbara Mathias, a woman who lived with Kenneth when Steven was 11 years old. Kenneth began hunting for another child when he became 14 years old, after which he continued to be abused. Kenneth attempted to enlist Steven’s assistance, but the adolescent refused. Kenneth, however, abducted Timothy White, a 5-year-old boy, while walking home from school in February 1980.

When Timothy was brought home, Steven saw what was in store for him and made the decision to go. Two weeks later, when Kenneth was gone working as a motel handyman, Steven grabbed the kid and hitchhiked to Ukiah, California, where the authorities eventually learned of their terrible story.

Kenneth’s criminal history was discovered after he was apprehended. In the early 1950s, he was sentenced to prison for abusing an 8-year-old. “I think this happened because my wife was pregnant, and she was just too big for me, I guess, and I had to find another outlet,” he later explained.

Kenneth, then 49, was convicted of kidnapping Steven and Timothy in January 1982. In connection with Steven’s case, Ervin was also convicted guilty of abduction and conspiring to kidnap. Kenneth was then sentenced to only seven years in prison, five of which he completed before being released on parole. However, once an event from December 2002 surfaced, it appeared that he was back to his old habits.

Kenneth Parnell
Kenneth Parnell was 76 years old when he died of natural causes.

Kenneth Parnell’s Cause of Death

Kenneth moved to San Francisco, California, after his release. He’d met Diane Stevens, the sister of his nanny. Kenneth told her in December 2002 that he intended to buy a young African-American child. He promised Diane $100 in exchange for a birth certificate and $400 if she would bring the child to him. Kenneth was arrested in January 2003 when she immediately informed the police.

Kenneth was found guilty of attempting to buy the four-year-old despite his protestations that he merely wanted to raise him. Kenneth was convicted of the murder in 2004 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He died on January 21, 2008, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California, while receiving hospice care. Kenneth was 76 years old when he died of natural causes, according to reports.

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