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Stayner Kidnapping Book Author Dies

The author of a best-selling book about the notorious kidnapping of Steven Stayner was found dead in a cell in the Monterey County Jail.

Authorities say Mike Echols was found dead late Friday in the jail€™s isolation cell. The 58-year-old Echols had health problems. He had complained since he was jailed that those problems were being ignored.

Echols was arrested twice last year and charged with several misdemeanors. He had been jailed since November for violating probation.

Echols wrote, “I Know My First Name is Steven,” a recounting of the abduction of Steven Stayner. Stayner was held for seven years by Kenneth Parnell, who€™s currently in jail on allegations he tried to buy a little boy in Berkeley.

Stayner died in 1989 in a motorcycle accident. His brother, Cary Stayner, was sentenced to death for murdering three tourists and a Yosemite National Park naturalist.

An autopsy is scheduled today.