Kidnapper James Schoenfeld, 63, was released from the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo at 5:15 a.m. Friday, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown allowed the parole board’s decision granting Schoenfeld's parole to stand.
Schoenfeld was one of three men convicted in the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping of 26 children and their school bus driver who were held captive in a buried trailer. The men planned to ask for a $5 million ransom for the children, but all the victims escaped while the kidnappers took a nap.
Schoenfeld, his brother, Richard, and a friend, Fred Woods were convicted in 1976.
Richard Schoenfeld was paroled in 2012. Woods could have a parole hearing this fall.
James Schoenfeld will reside in San Francisco County, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.