Georgia Couple Murdered In Craigslist Car Scam

Elrey “Bud” Runion and his wife June were headed to McRae GA on Thursday to meet someone who responded to an ad Bud Runion placed on Craigslist seeking a 1966 Mustang.

GA Missing Couple Bud And June Runion
GA Missing Couple Bud And June Runion

Relatives became concerned when the couple did not return for a family function and did not answer their cell phone.

Cobb County detectives believe the couple was riding in a pewter- or champagne colored 2003 GMC Envoy with Georgia tag BWU 7349.

They say Bud Runion is white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He is balding with gray hair and blue eyes. June Runion is white, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. Police say the phone number the Runions called traces back to a disposable cell phone.

Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson identified a wanted suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of June and Bud Runion.

Steverson says arrest warrants were issued for Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns, age 28. The warrants allege Towns made false statements to investigators and attempted to commit theft by deception.

Multiple agencies spanning several counties continued their search for the Runions. Volunteers also joined the search.

Craig Bishop, a son-in-law of the Runions, watched investigators coordinate the search from a campsite off Highway 117 near Jacksonville, Ga.

“There is nothing more valuable than life, no money, no nothing,” Bishop said. “We just want them back safe.”

Ronnie Adrian
Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns

Towns was described as 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds, with blue eyes.

“We were interested in who last had phone contact with the Runions, and this individual did,” says Steverson. “We interviewed Mr. Towns early on in the investigation and the info he provided did not corroborate with our investigation.”

One of the couple’s daughters, Brittany Peterson, said her parents have always been cautious and would have called by now if they were OK.

“They’ve always taught us things to be wary of in certain situations, safety. My dad, you know, he told me if I was to go do something, to go in numbers, to meet people in well-lit places. He would have called, and he hasn’t,” says Peterson.

Searchers set up a staging area in a hunting camp on Highway 117 near Jacksonville. The Telfair sheriff asked anyone with information to call his office at 229-868-6621. A Facebook page has been set up “Find Bud & June Runion.”

Update 01/26/15: Suspect arrested in Georgia Craigslist Missing Persons Case.

Update 02/06/2015. The Runions were recently laid to rest. Their funeral service video is here on Vimeo. The number of ordinary citizens that attended their service was a great show of support by ordinary people that came together via Facebook and other sources.

The Remember Bud & June Runions Facebook Page is currently showing 175,215 likes as of this post update. Facebook is a website that is living proof what “communities” can do. And is a testament toward the tremendous outpouring of support the Runion family received.

Friends, please trade safely and always meet in a public place to conduct a transaction. A busy mall parking lot. Many police departments are creating “Safe Trade Zones” to meet and conduct internet transactions.

2 Thoughts to “Georgia Couple Murdered In Craigslist Car Scam”

  1. Doc

    Sad this Georgia couple were robbed and shot in the head.

    McRAE, Ga. — A Georgia couple who vanished after embarking on a road trip to buy a car have been found dead, and both victims were shot in the head, officials say.

    The two bodies found in the search for the couple were positively
    identified Tuesday as Elrey “Bud” Runion and his wife, June E. Runion,
    according to a statement posted on Facebook by the Telfair County
    Sheriff’s office. The man who was initially charged with making false
    statements in the case, Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns, is now facing charges
    of murder and armed robbery, according to the statement. Towns was set to be arraigned later Tuesday at the Telfair County Courthouse.

  2. Doc

    Two bodies and a car found in missing Craigslist missing couple case in Georgia.

    Investigators have discovered the unidentified bodies of a man and a
    woman as well as a vehicle owned by a couple who went missing in Georgia
    last week, according to police.

    “It’s not the outcome we had hoped for, but obviously it’s one we have to deal with,” Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson told reporters during a press conference on
    Monday afternoon.

    Steverson said the vehicle a 2003 GMC Envoy was found in a shallow body of water, but at a separate location from the two bodies, which are undergoing autopsies.

    “The bodies were not submerged in water,” he said. “Only the automobile was in the water.”

    A suspect who is believed to have been the last person to speak with
    Elrey “Bud” Runion, 69, and his wife June Runion, 66, is now in police
    custody, according to law enforcement officials.

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