ABC’s ’20/20: Yosemite Serial Killer,’ as the title suggests, profiles the tale of the male who carried out four murders in six months near the Yosemite National Park in 1999. Cary Stayner is not just a convicted killer and rapist, but he’s also the older brother of kidnapping victim Steven Stayner. While both of them are fairly well-known, it’s for entirely different reasons. After all, the latter helped a 5-year-old child escape a pedophile as a teenager after enduring years of abuse. So, of course, we can not help but wonder more about their family, particularly their parents.
Who Are Cary and Steven Stayner’s Parents?
In the shadow of the Yosemite National Park in California, in the secluded farming town of Merced, the Stayner family resided in a lower-middle-class area classified as Betty Street. In the 1970s, they constituted Cary and Steven, their three sisters, and their parents, Kay and Delbert Stayner. Although an almost four-year age gap separated the two brothers, with Cary being the eldest of all five siblings, they seemed incredibly close. However, as we all know, that turned when pedophile Kenneth Parnell abducted Steven in 1972, and the Stayner’s allegedly began to neglect their children.
Delbert served as a mechanic at a peach can factory at that point in time, whereas Kay was a wife and mother whom many characterized as cold and distant. As per her testimony during Cary’s 2002 trial, she was raised to keep her emotions to herself by her father, who insisted that she would otherwise seem “crazy” like her mother. Therefore, Kay swore to raise her children that same way, without an ounce of sentimental touch or warmth, which Delbert seemed to agree with. But Kay knew that child molestation, something she went through, was out of the question.
Sadly, even though she kept her father away from her daughters while he stayed with them, they were still unsafe as Delbert reportedly carried on the cycle of parental molestation. Moreover, according to his testimony in 2002, when Steven went missing, he became fixated with finding him and neglected his four other children in the process, particularly Cary. Delbert even referred to Steven as his “real son” and pushed the other away. Both Kay and her husband confessed that they were not the best parents even when Steven returned — feelings were still never discussed.
Where Are Cary and Steven Stayner’s Parents Now?
“Cary was the ideal son,” Kay Stayner revealed to the jury during her elder son’s trial for murder. “Very seldom did he get into trouble. He was a good student, a good artist, and he was very loving.” She let go of all the values instilled in her as a child and cried while begging them to spare Cary’s life. Kay and Delbert had already lost Steven to a motorcycle accident in 1989, so they dreaded losing their other son. “My son is very sick right now,” the family’s patriarch said while sobbing. “I don’t think he should be executed because he’s sick.” But Cary still got the death penalty.
As for where Delbert and Kay Stayner are now, the pair had made it evident that they wanted to lead quiet lives after the events of the early 2000s. Thus, sadly, all we know is that Delbert passed away at 79-years-old in his house in Winton, California, on April 9, 2013. On the other hand, Kay still lives in California, rarely speaks out about either of her sons publicly, and prefers to go by her day-to-day life away from the limelight. She appears content to be beside her family and friends. Being a mother, we assume Kay continues to miss her sons, but likes to keep it private, as made clear on her Facebook account.
Read More: Where is Cary Stayner Now?