Feature

Arrest in child’s killing

The week's news at a glance.

Stanton, Calif.

Police this week charged a California man, Alejandro Avila, with kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and murdering 5-year-old Samantha Runnion. The girl and a friend were playing near their homes when a stranger asked for help finding a puppy, then snatched Samantha as she kicked and screamed. Her naked body was found a day later, lying in brush 60 miles away. Tips led detectives to Avila, 27, who was acquitted two years ago of molesting two 10-year-olds. Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona said DNA tests and other physical evidence left him “100 percent certain” he had his killer. “I told you we would hunt you down,” Carona said in announcing the arrest. Through a lawyer, Avila said he was not Runnion’s killer.

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