- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Former Cape cop faces stealing-by-deceit charge (6/18/17)3
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)2
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Cape man faces charges of victim tampering (6/18/17)
- Police: Cape abduction may have ties to Georgia homicide (6/18/17)5
- 3 drown in Southeast Missouri in three days (6/16/17)
- Library provides free lunches this summer (6/19/17)
- Fire destroys two greenhouses at Travelers Gazebo site in Cape (6/22/17)
Factory worker arrested in California girl's slaying
STANTON, Calif. -- A factory worker acquitted of molesting two girls two years ago was arrested Friday in connection with the slaying of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, the youngster whose abduction sent a chill across Southern California.
Alejandro Avila, 27, had been taken into custody at his mother's apartment in Lake Elsinore, about 50 miles from Stanton and about 10 miles from where the body was found.
"I am 100 percent certain that Mr. Avila is the man who kidnapped and murdered Samantha Runnion," Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona said Friday about eight hours after announcing the arrest.
No charges were immediately announced against Avila but Carona said the case was "ready to be handed over to the district attorney's office."
An acquaintance said Avila was familiar with Samantha's apartment complex because he used to visit someone there a few years ago, before the Runnions moved in.
Samantha was playing with a friend 50 yards from her front door Monday evening when she was dragged kicking and screaming into the light green car of a man who had asked for help in finding his puppy.
Before his arrest, Avila denied any involvement in the slaying during an interview with the Los Angeles Times and said he told detectives that he was at a mall when Samantha was kidnapped.
He said detectives told him they had found fibers on the body they considered key evidence.
Two years ago, Avila was charged with molesting two girls under 14 but was acquitted by a jury, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Paul Dickerson said. He said he did not have details of the case.