Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The effect spreads

Last month I posted a story about Cary Stayner and mentioned his parents, Delbert and Kay. The local paper, the Merced Sun-Star, last weekend ran an interview with them about their children and what their family was like. A good, basic interview, with some flavor of these two decent people coming out. It has a little about the ripple effect of evil on other lives:

When Steven Stayner was abducted while walking home from Charles Wright Elementary School in Merced by Kenneth Parnell in 1972, it turned the stable, solid family inside out. Cary and his three sisters refused to talk about their missing brother. The family's equilibrium had been thrown off; they lived with a knot in their stomachs and a gap in their lives.

Delbert and Kay spent the first two years of Steven's disappearance following tips, looking at pictures of dead children to identify if one was Steven's body, even listening to leads from psychics who claimed to know their son's whereabouts.

But nothing panned out, and "life went on," Kay said. "We still had four other children to take
care of."

Cary is in jail, Parnell is in jail again, their three daughters are getting on with their lives in other parts of Califorina, the writer who made millions off of Steven's story is now dead, but Kay and Delbert keep moving forward.