BERKELEY, Calif. -- Kenneth Parnell, the child molester who became infamous after kidnapping and sexually torturing Steven Stayner in the 1970s, was reportedly arrested Friday night in a police sting operation after allegedly trying buy a child.
A spokeswoman for the Berkeley police department told television stations KRON and KTVU that a search warrant and the arrest of Parnell at his home were facilitated by a tip from a member of Parnell's community. No further details were immediately available.
An admitted child kidnapper, Parnell has been convicted twice before of kidnapping and molesting young boys, so he could be eligible for life in prison if convicted under California's three-strikes law.
In 1972, Parnell snatched Steven Stayner, then 7, off a street in Merced and tortured him for seven years before the boy escaped and was reunited with his family, including his brother Cary Stayner, who later killed four women at Yosemite National Park.