March 23, 2020
First, they believed he was black.
Now, they believe he was dark brown.
38 years later, and we’re finally making some solid progress.
It’s a tip that Elaine Runyan hopes will end the 1982 mystery of her daughter’s abduction and murder.
Rachael Runyan was 3 years old when she was kidnapped from a playground in Sunset. Her body was later found in a remote area of Morgan County. Rachael’s 5-year-old brother and a younger brother witnessed the kidnapping and notified their mother.
From the 5-year old’s description police released a composite of an African-American suspect.
“We always thought it was a black person so we never suggested to what we’re reporting to you now,” said Elaine Runyan.
From her perspective, the 1982 composite is no longer an accurate description of Rachael Runyan’s kidnapper.
“My son was 5 years old and he thought it was a black man but he always said the composite wasn’t right,” said Runyan. “So he never felt good about it and as he thinks deeply as he has over the years he says ‘I don’t know if it’s a black person mom.’”
The family’s private investigator and the mother are working with Sunset police and investigators with the Attorney General on a new description.
“We’re not just focusing on this person being African-American,” said Jason Jensen, an investigator. “We believe that he’s non-caucasian, that the person of interest responsible for Rachael’s death is likely a dark brown complexion.”