East Cobbers “Bud” Runion, 69, and June Runion, 66, were found dead this week in
Telfair County. Bud Runion had put an ad on Craigslist looking for a 1966 Mustang, the
same type of car he drove as a young man just back from Vietnam. They were allegedly
lured by Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28 last Thursday, January 22. Yesterday, police found the
couple in a wooded area close to Towns’ family’s property, with fatal gunshot wounds to
their heads. Their 2003 GMC Envoy was found submerged in a nearby pond. There is
no record of Downs ever owning a 1966 Ford Mustang.
Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson revealed that Towns was the last person to
speak to the Runions, via a disposable cell phone. When interrogated, his story didn’t
match up with the information investigators already had. A warrant for his arrest was
issued on Sunday afternoon. On Monday evening, Towns turned himself in to the Telfair
County Sheriff’s Office. Initially, Towns was charged with criminal attempt to commit
theft by deception and giving false statements. When the autopsy report confirmed
yesterday that the bodies found were indeed the Runions, he was also charged with two
counts of felony murder and one count of felony armed robbery.
Over 175,000 Facebook members have joined the “Find Bud and June Runion” page,
hoping that the outcome would be different. Once the tragic news hit, the Runions’ three
daughters received an outpouring of prayers and support from people all over the world.
“Bud and June had an amazing love,” the family said on a Facebook post on Tuesday,
“They loved God and that is evident in how they lived.”
The Runions had lived for more than thirty years in East Cobb, where they raised their
three daughters. Bud was known for restoring old bikes that he would give to
underprivileged children at Christmas. June was a retired teacher.
A funeral service will be held for Bud and June Runion on Saturday, January 31st at
1:00 p.m. at Mt. Paran North Church of God and will be open for the public to attend.
Mt. Paran is located at 1700 Allgood Road, Marietta/East Cobb 30062.