Update: Close to 40 years after the abduction of Rachel Runyan, a change to the case is made and a new possible person of interest is identified.
On August 26, 1982 three-year-old Rachel Runyan was abducted from a playground near her home in Sunset, Utah. 24 days later Rachels body was found partially submerged 20 miles from the playground.
The only witnesses to her kidnapping were her older and younger brother, ages 5 and 1, at the time. According to them, a man approached the group of children at the park, offering to buy them ice cream from a local establishment. Rachel began walking away with the man until her older brother called for her to come back. As Rachel turned to walk back, the stranger grabbed her and sprinted away.
Two and a half years after her abduction, police discovered a gruesome message scrawled across the bathroom wall of a local all-night laundry that read:
“Beware I’m still at large I killed the little Runyan girl. Remember beware!”
Update: At the time of the investigation into the abduction, police used Rachel’s 5-year-old brother’s witness account to draw up a sketch of the perpetrator. At the time, the child believed the perpetrator to have been an African American male in his 30’s. Now almost 40 years later, investigators have changed the description of the possible person of interest in the case. He is no longer described as an African American male, but is not Caucasian, and of dark brown complexion.
The update to the possible perpetrators profile has already pointed police in the direction of a local man who has a history of sexually abusing children.