Notorious child predator dies in prison

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.

He also was convicted of robbery and grand larceny for using a gun to rob a service station owner of $150 in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1960.

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