A suspect was charged with murder today after authorities positively identified the bodies of a Georgia couple who vanished last week while going to meet someone to buy a vintage car they found on Craigslist.
Bud Runion, 69, and his wife, June, 66, disappeared Thursday, authorities said. The pair had posted an ad seeking to buy a vintage 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Relatives said the Mustang was the couple’s dream car, one they’d wanted to buy since they were married decades ago.
The suspect, Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28, the owner of the phone that last communicated with the Runions’ phone, turned himself in yesterday and was charged with murder and robbery today, the Telfair County Sheriff’s office said. Towns was initially charged with giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception.
The couple’s 2003 GMC Envoy was found submerged in a lake, the Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page without revealing the lake’s location. The bodies were found at another location not far away, officials said. The Runions were both shot in the head, ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported.
Steverson said Towns had little or no criminal history.
The couple, after finding what they believed was a seller, reportedly set out on a 180-mile road trip from Marietta, Georgia, to McRae, Georgia. The Runions haven’t been heard from since, and never showed up to babysit their grandchildren Friday.
But yesterday, the page acknowledged the sheriff’s discoveries of the vehicle and bodies, and supporters began leaving messages of shock and condolence.
« During this heartbreaking time I ask that you keep the family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” the couple’s relatives wrote.
Officials with Craigslist referred to the safety page on the company’s website, which notes, “Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items.”
ABC News’ Shahriar Rahmanzadeh and Dan Good contributed to this report.