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Handyman Arrested in Park Murder

July 25, 1999

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ A hotel maintenance man was arrested in the murder of a naturalist at Yosemite National Park and named as a suspect in the killings of three tourists earlier this year, the FBI said Sunday.

Cary Stayner is accused of killing 26-year-old Joie Ruth Armstrong, whose body was found near her Yosemite housing on Thursday.

Stayner was arrested Saturday night.

Stayner, who was questioned at the time of the previous murders but ruled out as a suspect, is now believed to have played a role in that crime, said Special Agent in Charge James M. Maddock. The three bodies in that case were discovered March 19.

``We have developed specific information linking Stayner to the Yosemite sightseers murders,″ Maddock said.

He would not elaborate on how authorities were led to Stayner.

The Stayner name already is indelibly etched in the annals of bizarre California crime.

His brother, Steven Stayner, was a sexually abused kidnap victim who, in 1972, was abducted off a Merced street. The boy was returned home seven years later.

As if he lived his short life under a cloud, Steven Stayner died in 1989 in a collision with a hit-and-run driver at 24.

A television miniseries portrayed the saga of his abduction, his life under a name invented by his tormentor and his jarring return home to parents who never believed the police theory that their middle child was long dead.

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