It bears repeating that when someone goes missing, it’s usually because the person wanted to vanish. But that’s not always the case. Last week, when a couple from Georgia went to buy a vintage car from someone on Craigslist, they vanished. After four days of searching for the couple, bodies were discovered in local woods.
This post discusses this tragic case, and offers you a nearly fool-proof way to conduct safer Craiglist transactions.
Bud Runion (69) and his wife June (66) saw an ad for a vintage 1966 Ford Mustang convertible on Craigslist. This was a vehicle they had thought about owning ever since they were married many decades before.
The couple set out on a 180-mile road trip that would take them from their home in Marietta to McRae, where the vehicle was located. Once they set out on the road, it was the last their family heard of them. They were supposed to babysit their grandchildren, but never showed up on Friday. The couple’s adult children, three daughters, were naturally very worried by the disappearance, as it was not typical behavior for the Runions. The family set up a Facebook page called “Find Bud and June Runion”, which swelled to 100,000 supporters.
On January 26, police discovered the bodies. Their vehicle was discovered at another location, submerged in a lake.
The suspect in the case is Ronny “Jay” Towns (28), who owns the phone that had the last bit of communication with the couple. Towns turned himself in on the 26th of January so he could face charges of “giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception.” The sheriff said that the suspect has little criminal history.
Keeping safe when buying on Craiglist
If there’s a takeaway from this tragedy, it’s to be very careful when dealing with online transactions.
For many years, experts have advised to conduct Craigslist transactions at public locations, where there are plenty of people around.
The best possible location to do this is at a local police department or sheriff’s station. This is even a practice that many police departments across the country are actively encouraging when it comes to Craigslist safety and online transactions.