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Erin Runnion
Samantha Runnion
Erin and Samantha Runnion

Erin Runnion is the mother of Samantha Runnion and the Founding Director of The Joyful Child Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse and abduction through programs that unite and uplift our nation's communities in the protection and wonderment of all children. Launched in 2004, Samantha's PRIDE Neighborhood Child Protection program is the first initiative of The Joyful Child Foundation.

Samantha Runnion was a beautiful, bright, joyful little girl with a passion for art. Samantha's life was cut short as the youngest victim of the "summer of abductions" on July 15, 2002. Samantha was kidnapped from outside of her home in Orange County, California; she was found the next day, over seventy miles away, by a hang-glider in the San Bernadino mountains. Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona led an impressive collaborative investigation with the FBI, nearby law enforcement agencies, the California Highway Patrol and the media to find Samantha and the man who took her. Samantha's killer was apprehended just over a week later and has since been convicted and sentenced to death.

Erin is dedicated to ensuring Samantha's tragic death continue to be a catalyst for positive change; motivating concerned citizens to be pro-active in our collective responsibility to protect our nation's children from sexual abuse and abduction.

link arrow The Joyful Child Foundation - In Memory of Samantha Runnion