Well this will certainly make you think twice about buying anything off of Craigslist. Bud Runion, 69, and his wife June, 66, disappeared on Thursday of last week. On Monday, authorities uncovered their 2003 GMC Envoy, which was submerged in a lake. The couple had recently posted an ad on Craigslist in which they were seeking a 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible, their dream car. They set out on a 180-mile trip to McRae, Georgia, where they were supposedly going to meet with a seller, and haven’t been heard from since.
The Runions were supposed to return Friday to babysit for one of their three daughters, and never showed up. Their children were beside themselves with worry. “Whoever has them, we hope that they will let them come home to us,” daughter Stephanie Bishop said. “We miss them.” Their family set up a support page on Facebook that grew to 100,000 follows in a matter of days. Once the Telfar County’s Sheriff’s Office reported the found SUV and unidentified bodies, condolence messages came pouring in from all over.
While the identification of the two bodies remains unknown, the proximity to the Runions’ SUV leads police to believe it is likely the missing couple. “It’s not the outcome we had hoped for, but obviously it’s the one we have to deal with,” Steverson said. “We’ll analyze the vehicle, the bodies and hopefully we can come to some conclusion as to how they met their fate.”
It is a bleak story, but the ending is somewhat hopeful. Earlier on Monday, a suspect by the name of Ronnie “Jay” Adrian Towns, 28, turned himself in to face charges of giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Towns’ phone was the last to communicate with the Runions, and his family helped the police locate him during the investigation.
Craigslist transactions do not commonly end in such tragedy, but the site does have a history of occasional criminal behavior. In May 2013, a teenager from Maine drove to Portland to sell his BMW sedan to someone who responded to his Craigslist ad. He was allegedly forced into his own trunk and driven to Delaware, according to media reports and an FBI affidavit. And then of course there’s the Craigslist Killer, Phillip Markoff, who was charged with armed robbery and murder of a woman he met on the site. But those are just isolated incidents, right? You can view the ABC news spot on the story below.