"The hardest things are questions about the time — about what she endured in the last eight, 12 hours. He has admitted to nothing. And that is hard because the imagination is worse than any reality — and then there is the place where she was found."
Erin Runnion and I were having a cup of tea in Huntington Beach last week and she was describing, in part, what inspired a journey she had made several days before to an outpost along the Ortega Highway — to the spot where her daughter Samantha's body was discovered 10 years ago, brutally murdered after being abducted the day before at her home in Stanton by a man named Alejandro Avila (who is now deservedly on death row).
Yes, this Sunday marks 10 years since the precious youngster's face entered the national consciousness. To mark the anniversary and to continue generating awareness for the plight of abducted and abused children, Erin is organizing a series of public events. But this very private trip she took (with our mutual friend, TV producer Maria Hall-Brown, who will be presenting a special edition of "Real Orange" on PBS SoCal that documents the trip) was something Erin said she just needed to do once and for all.