Kidnap Victim to Wed
MERCED, Calif. (AP) _ Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped at age 7 and held by his abductor for seven years, will marry a high school girl Wednesday, his mother said Tuesday.
Stayner, now 20 and an employee of the local parks department, plans to marry Jody Edmondson, a 17-year-old student who works at a fast food restaurant, in an informal private ceremony, said his mother, Kay Stayner.
Stayner disappeared from this central California community while walking home from school Dec. 4, 1972, and he surfaced March 1, 1980 in Ukiah, 200 miles away, where he was living with the drifter who kidnapped him.
He was reunited with his family after walking into a police station with a 5-year-old boy was had been abducted by the drifter in Ukiah two weeks earlier, telling authorities he did not want the boy subjected to the same abuse he experienced.
Kenneth Parnell, now 53, was convicted of kidnapping the boys and was released from prison on parole April 9 after serving five years and one month.
Mrs. Stayner said in a telephone interview her son is ″fairly normal,″ despite the long kidnapping ordeal, sexual abuse and readjustment to his previous life. Stayner refused to be interviewed.
″You can’t take it back,″ she said. ″Steve will just have to learn to live with it and build his own life without that getting in his way. He’s making headway.″
Mrs. Stayner said she is happy that the middle of her five children is getting married.
″They get married when they’re ready,″ she noted.
Mrs. Stayner refused to reveal the location of Wednesday’s wedding, saying her son ″needs some privacy sometime.″