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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Samantha Runnion's Father Addresses Media

Aired July 18, 2002 - 17:41   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.
KATE SNOW, CNN ANCHOR: We'll going to go live now to an event -- the missing girl's father speaking to reporters. Samantha Runnion's father.

DEREK JACKSON, SAMANTHA RUNNION'S FATHER: She's been everything to me. And I'm so unbelievably sorry that she's not with us today.

I have a prepared statement to make. I would like to have the chief of Sunderland police read that for me.

Again, you know, thank you very much for all your patients and all your news coverage. And please watch your children. Really keep an eye on them. Don't let them out of your sight.

Thank you very much.

SNOW: You were hearing there from the father of Samantha Runnion. That's the 5-year-old girl who's body has been found now. She was missing for a time, and she was found.

Maybe we should listen in now as one of the sheriff's departments...

EVAN GOLANN, SUNDERLAND, MA, POLICE OFFICER: ... you'll have to refer to Orange County sheriffs.

So his statement is as follows: First of all, I'd like to thank all of you for respecting my privacy. As you could imagine, this is a very, very difficult time for all of us who are close to Samantha.

I am complete devastated. I loved her very much, and I will miss her dearly. I had the most wonderful moments of my life while with her. She's such a sweet, beautiful little girl, and her love will live forever in my heart.

This horrifying tragedy and others like it should have never happened. I want to take this time to tell everyone with children to watch over them, watch over their children so much more closely than before. Also, please go through role playing and instruction over and over about how to respond to being approached by anyone they don't know.

My heart goes out to all the parents of missing children and all those parents who have lost children to abductors. Also I would like to thank everyone for their support, and I greatly appreciate all the efforts of the Orange County Sheriff's Department in California and all the volunteers in California helping Samantha's mom, grandmother and friends.

Thank you all so very much.

QUESTION: What's your name? Your name?

GOLANN: Evan Golann.

QUESTION: Spell it.

GOLANN: E-V-A-N, G-O-L-A-N-N.

SNOW: Well, I was a bit mistaken. That is not in Orange County, California. That, in fact, was in Massachusetts -- Sunderland, Massachusetts where the father of Samantha Runnion resides. He is separated from the girl's mother, who lives in Orange County.

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