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Ukiah Daily Journal: Timothy White, boy saved by Steven Stayner, dead at 35

Timothy Lee White, 5, gets a piggy-back ride from 14-year-old Steven Stayner into a press conference in this 1980 file photo.
Timothy Lee White, 5, gets a piggy-back ride from 14-year-old Steven Stayner into a press conference in this 1980 file photo. Merced Sun-Star file photo

Timothy James White, the tow-headed 5-year-old known as "Timmy," who was freed in 1980 from a child molester by a teenager who'd been the molester's prisoner for years, died April 1 in Southern California, according to family members.

White, a resident of Pine Mountain, reportedly died of a pulmonary embolism. He was 35 years old, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff with a wife and two children.

White was kidnapped in Ukiah in February, 1980 and returned to his family in March, after teenager Steven Stayner - held for years by kidnapper and child molester Kenneth Parnell - brought Timmy to the authorities.

Parnell had kidnapped 7-year-old Stayner in 1972 in Merced and held onto him, raising him as his "son" for seven years. He was convicted twice for kidnapping, once for White in 1981 and again for Stayner in 1982. Parnell got seven years in prison for the White kidnapping and then the maximum allowed by law for the second, 20 months. He was never charged with the molestation Stayner said was constant. In 2004, Parnell was convicted of further sex offenses and died in prison in Vacaville in 2008 at age 76.

Stayner, who grew into a handsome young man living a somewhat normal life, was killed in a motorcycle accident near Merced in 1989 at age 24.

White leaves his wife, Dena, daughter Hannah, 13, and son, Lukas, 11.

Read the story in the Ukiah Daily Journal: http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_14842738

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