Last week, the day after 5-year-old Samantha Runnion’s nude and battered body was found near Riverside, California, an emotional Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona went on national television and told her killer that “we will find you because that’s what we do here.”

In less than 24, hours, Carona’s department arrested 27-year-old Alejandro Avila, a known sexual predator whose DNA was found on the young girl’s body.

The kidnapping and death of young Samantha shook the community of Stanton,
California, to its core. She was outside her home, playing Clue with a friend, when a man asked her to help him find a lost dog.

According to her friend, Samantha approached the man warily but he lunged out of his car, grabbed her and shoved the screaming and struggling young girl into the car and roared off.

Worried parents locked their children in their homes. Carona, who has young children of his own, was visibly shaken after Samantha’s body was discovered. He warned the public that the killer would probably strike again, a move that brought criticism from some but praise from parents.

“There was no shock value,” Carona said of the criticism. “This is information the public has to understand. We don’t want people to overreact. But we want people to understand we have a sexual predator out there.”

Orange County parents breathe a little easier now that Avila is under arrest, but they shouldn’t. Avila killed Samantha Runnion. There isn’t much doubt about that. But he isn’t the only scumbag who preys on children. There are too many more out there.

Most state laws require convicted sexual offenders to register with the police. More than 150 sexual offenders are registered in Orange County alone (and Avila wasn’t one of them).

A search of the sexual offender database shows 52 registered in Arlington County, Virginia, six of them in the same zip code as my condominium. You might expect that in a county of several hundred thousand people, but the same database shows 21 registered sexual offenders in Floyd County, the county of 12,000 people where I grew up and still own property. Hell, I went to high school with some of them.

My two brothers have young children in that county and the database shows known sexual offenders living not far from their homes.

I admit a real hatred towards child molesters. They deserve no mercy and have no place in any society, civilized or otherwise. The idea that 21 of these sickos live near my young nieces and nephews makes me want to puke. Before they come near any of our relatives, they had best remember that both of my brothers are accomplished hunters.

Any parents should know just who lives in their neighborhood , especially when that neighbor might be a known pervert who preys on children. Any parent can find out by checking the National Sex Offender Database.

Don’t delay. Do it today. The life you save may be your child’s.