Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

5-Year-Old Samantha Runnion Has Been Kidnapped in California

Aired July 16, 2002 - 16:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go out to California, the sheriff of Orange County, about a little girl who was abducted there.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MIKE CORONA, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF: ... that has been put out. The subject description stays the same: a male, Latin, 25 to 40 years of age, black hair that has been greased back, a black mustache, at the time wearing a powder blue button-down shirt.

The vehicle description has changed only slightly. Currently, we're looking for a two-door light green, possibly a Honda or Accord -- Acura, I'm sorry -- a light green, possibly Honda or Acura, with chrome wheels, with an H on the back of it and the chrome wheels on the car. This is a change in the description of the vehicle.

However, I have to tell you, our best witness at this point in time is a 5-year-old young lady. While she has done a magnificent job in being able to brief the investigators on this case, it is a 5-year- old's description. We will take any information leading to the arrest of this individual, any help that the public can be.

But, again, the basic description: a male Latin 25 to 40 years of age, black hair greased back, black mustache, power blue button-down shirt. And we're looking for a two-door light green Honda or Acura.

The first individual we would like to bring forward is the mayor of Stanton, Mayor Brian Donahue.

BRIAN DONAHUE, MAYOR OF STANTON, CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Sheriff.

Our entire community supports the Runnion family with our thoughts and prayers. It is unthinkable that anyone would come into our safe and peaceful neighborhood and do this terrible act. Rest assured that our Orange County Sheriff's Department is doing everything and will do everything possible to seek out this criminal and return Samantha to her parents.

We are establishing a reward program to assist in her safe return. Again, our prayers are with the family.

Thank you. CORONA: Thank you, Mayor.

Next up: one of the great partners that we have in law enforcement, not here in this county, but across the nation is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has stepped in in a major way in this investigation. And I'd like to bring forward the special agent in charge, Richard Garcia.

RICHARD GARCIA, FBI: Good afternoon.

Thank you, Sheriff.

This is a tragic event, when a 5-year-old, 6-year-old child is taken by somebody that they don't know. The FBI is here and has extended an extensive amount of assistance to the sheriff's department. We have contacted our offices throughout the country, as well as assisted in the international aspects of getting our partners in Mexico as well.

Any information you can have regarding this child, the location of the child, the suspect and such, please call it in. The information is being broadcast through the help of the media. There's a lot of people out there watching, a lot of people looking. I implore you to call. If you have cell phones out there, use them, so we can hope to bring this child back and safely returned.

Thank you.

CORONA: Ladies and gentlemen, let me go through with you what has taken place in a very short period of time and the cooperation that we have not only in the community, but in law enforcement in this county.

As you well know, a little before 7:00 yesterday evening, Samantha Runnion was abducted right here in this complex. There was a 5-year-old little girl that she was playing with that has become the best witness in this particular investigation, was able to describe for us not only the individual, but the car.

This is a heinous crime. And it is one that we responded to very, very quickly. I can tell you that the Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol responded within minutes to this location. There was a broadcast that was put out on our red channel, which is a countywide communication system. Operational personnel were deployed to this location and began a canvassing of the neighborhood.

Immediately, our air unit was up. And we received support from Costa Mesa Police Department with another helicopter in the air. Reserves from the Orange County Sheriff's Department were dispatched and began a canvass of not only the community, but also businesses close by.

A CARE alert was put out thanks to the media. Again, a child abduction regional emergency was announced. That was put out by the radio and electronic broadcast. In addition to that, bloodhounds were deployed in the community to start looking for our victim. Investigative resources were brought into play. The investigators from the Stanton division of the Orange County Sheriff's Department were here on scene. And the criminal investigative division larger from the sheriff's department were brought in.

Neighborhood canvassing, the businesses, parole and probation checks were done. We have begun a search of all of the businesses, looking for any active video monitoring equipment that may be -- may have been employed by local businesses that could be of help to us.

The FBI stepped in. They brought in over 30 agents to this particular program. Not only did they bring their agents to help out in terms of manpower, but they brought in technical expertise to be able to analyze the data that we're getting. They have also contacted their resources cross-border so that, in fact, if there is a location either here or in Mexico, the FBI will be working with their counterparts to make sure that our victim is returned.

The flier that we have given to all the media has been posted on the Web page. It also has been posted with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It has been printed in Spanish and is being currently translated into Vietnamese.

We have over 150 personnel that are involved in looking for Samantha. It is 10 days from her birthday. I can guarantee you that all the resources available to law enforcement and the county of Orange, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the FBI will be put forward to bring Samantha home before her birthday.

You commit a crime in Orange County, we will do everything in our power to make sure that you're brought to justice. And, in this case, we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that Samantha comes home to her mother. That's a guarantee.

But we need your help. We need the public's help to identify any potential witnesses, any potential leads, any potential vehicles. If you have any information, please call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at area code 714-628-7000.

I'm more than happy to answer any questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

CORONA: The (OFF-MIKE) registrant, the 290 registrations have been pulled. And we're going through that one by one, not only here for those that may reside in the city of Stanton or in the county of Orange, but broadly. Since this individual was in a vehicle, we're looking not only here in Orange County, but throughout the state.

WOODRUFF: Mike Corona is the sheriff of Orange County, California, telling about another tragic kidnapping of a child, this one 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, kidnapped from an apartment complex where she was playing early last evening with a friend -- the police saying that much of the information they have about the suspect, about the car he drove off in, from a 5-year-old friend of Samantha's, a young girl she was playing with -- another tragedy.

And they are looking for an Hispanic man, 25 to 40 years old, driving a light green Honda or Acura.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



California>


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top