Convicted sex offender Kenneth Eugene Parnell, known for kidnapping Steven Stayner in 1972, died of natural causes at 9:10 p.m. Monday at the California Medical Facility, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today.
Parnell was 76 and was in hospice status when he died. He was serving a 25-years-to-life term under the state's three strikes law for attempting to buy a 4-year-old boy for $500 in 2003. The Alameda County jury found him guilty in 2004 of soliciting a person to kidnap someone, attempting to buy a person and attempted child stealing.
Parnell actually had five strikes. In December 1972 he kidnapped 7-year-old Steven Stayner of Merced, the younger brother of Cary Stayner who was convicted of killing three tourists and a Yosemite National Park naturalist in 1999.
On Feb. 14, 1980, Parnell abducted 5-year-old Timothy White of Ukiah in 1980. He was arrested after Stayner and White hitchhiked to Ukiah and went to a police station. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years
in prison and was paroled to Berkeley in 1985 after serving five years.
Steven Stayner died in a motorcycle accident in 1985.
Parnell's criminal history began at age 19 when he reportedly abducted and sodomized a 9-year-old Bakersfield boy in 1951.