Bodies found could be missing Marietta Craigslist couple; suspect in custody

Bodies found could be missing Marietta Craigslist couple; suspect in custody
(Source: WSB/CNN)
(Source: WSB/CNN)

TELFAIR COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - There are now more questions than answers in the disappearance of a missing elderly couple from Georgia, the man who is now in custody connected their reasons for traveling, and bodies found near a vehicle that could be Bud and June Runion.

During a press conference on Monday, Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson said that two bodies were recovered in McRae, GA; the bodies could be those of Bud and June Runion, 69 and 68 years old, respectively, a couple that's been missing since late last week.

The bodies have not been positively identified as the couple, and they were discovered some time Monday morning, Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson said during a press conference.

Search efforts by the Telfair County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement officials recovered the vehicle the Runions were last seen traveling in submerged in water. The bodies were recovered in the same area. Law enforcement has not yet released a cause of death, and the bodies have been sent for an autopsy.

Steverson confirmed with News Leader 9's Irisha Jones that the man suspected in the case of a missing elderly Georgia couple is in police custody.

Ronnie Adrian "Jay" Towns turned himself in Monday around 11:30 a.m., according to the Telfair County Sheriff's Facebook page. He was wanted on charges of giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. He has not been charged with harming the couple. The last number that contacted the Runions were from a "throw-away" phone that belonged to Towns.

According to WMAZ in Macon, Towns "has no criminal record and comes from a 'good family.'"

Bud and June Runion left their home in Marietta, GA Thursday in their 2003 GMC Envoy, en route to McCray, GA.

The couple vanished after going to buy a 1966 Mustang from a seller they contacted on Craigslist. It is unclear whether Towns even had the vintage car to sell the elderly couple.

Steverson tells Jones that the Georgia State Patrol's aviation unit helped to search both Telfair and Wheeler counties for the couple. The family had not heard from them since 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The family was told about the discovery prior to the press conference.

The Facebook page "Find Bud & June Runion" garnered a lot of support from across the nation since the couple family began the page.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more details.

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