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Timmy White

Kidnapper and child molestor Kenneth Parnell began to search for another victim. Steven Stayner was growing older and thus less "attractive" to him. Parnell wanted a younger child, and he planned to kidnap one.

On February 14, 1980, Parnell and Sean Poorman, one of Stayner's high school buddies, kidnapped five-year-old Timmy White in Ukiah, California. Motivated in part by the young boy's distress, Steven decided to escape with him, intending to return the boy to his parents and then escape himself (Steven believed that Parnell had legal custody of him. On March 1, 1980, while Parnell was away at his night security job, Steven left with Timmy and hitchhiked into Ukiah. Unable to locate Timmy's home address, he decided to have Timmy walk into the police department to ask for help, before escaping himself. Before he could successfully escape, the police spotted the two boys and took them into custody. Steven immediately identified Timmy White and then revealed his own true identity and story.

By daybreak on March 2, 1980, Parnell had been arrested on suspicion of abducting both boys. After the police checked into Parnell's background they found a previous sodomy conviction from 1951. Both children were reunited with their families that day. In 1981, Parnell was tried and convicted of kidnapping Timmy and Steven in two separate trials. He was sentenced to seven years but was paroled after serving five years. Parnell was not charged with the numerous sexual assaults on Steven Stayner and other boys, as most occurred outside the jurisdiction of the Merced county prosecutor or were by then outside the statute of limitations. The Mendocino County prosecutors, acting almost entirely alone, decided not to prosecute the sexual assaults that occurred in their jurisdiction. Murphy and Poorman who had helped abduct Timmy White were convicted of lesser charges. Both claimed they knew nothing of the sexual assaults on Steven. Barbara was never arrested.

Parnell's prison sentence for the abduction of Steven and Timmy was considerably less than the seven years he had kept Steven prisoner. Steven's kidnapping and its aftermath prompted California lawmakers to change state laws "to allow consecutive prison terms in similar abduction cases."

In 2004, Kenneth Parnell, then age seventy-two, was convicted of trying the previous year to persuade a woman to procure for him a young boy for five hundred dollars. Although Stayner was dead, a written statement he had made before his death was used as evidence in Parnell's 2004 trial. Timmy White was also subpoenaed to testify in the trial. Kenneth Parnell died of natural causes on January 21, 2008, in a California medical facility, while serving a 25-years-to-life sentence.

White went on to become a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Timmy White died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism on April 1, 2010 at age 35. White left behind a wife and two children.

© Copyright 2008, Chris Yarbrough