Vacaville – Centinela State Prison Inmate Kenneth Eugene Parnell, 76, a convicted sex offender known for the 1972 kidnapping of Steven Stayner, died of natural causes at 9:10 p.m. on Monday, January 21, 2008 in the G-1 Hospital Unit at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Inmate Parnell was on hospice status.
On Dec. 4, 1972, Parnell kidnapped seven-year-old Stayner in Merced, California. On Feb. 14, 1980, Parnell abducted five-year-old Timmy White in Ukiah, California. Stayner was not willing to have the young boy go through the years of torment he endured, and on March 1, 1980, he took White, hitchhiked to Ukiah, and went to a police station. This led to Parnell’s arrest.
Parnell was received in state prison on Feb. 10, 1982 from Alameda County with an eight-year eight-month sentence for one count of kidnapping and a one-year, eight-month sentence for another count of kidnapping. He was released to parole on April 5, 1985.
Parnell was received on April 22, 2004 from Alameda County with a 25-year-to-life sentence under California’s Three Strikes Law for solicitation to commit a felony. This conviction stemmed from a January 2003 arrest in which Parnell tried to coerce a caregiver into buying a four-year-old boy.