Authorities are still waiting for a positive identification of the bodies but said they had notified relatives of Bud and June Runion.
“It’s not the outcome we had hoped for, Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson told reporters.”Obviously it’s the situation we have to deal with.”
Earlier Monday, investigators confirmed a suspect was in custody in connection with the case of the missing couple, who have not been seen since they responded to a Craigslist advertisement about a car.
Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28, turned himself in to the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, investigators confirmed to Fox News. A warrant for Towns’ arrest was issued in connection to the disappearance of Elrey “Bud” Runion, 69, and his 66-year-old wife June, of Cobb County, Ga.
Stevenson said investigators traced the couple’s last communications to a cell phone in Telfair county that had been purchased by Towns. With help from Towns’ family, authorities convinced the suspect to turn himself in.
The elderly couple was reported missing by their three daughters Friday when they did not show up to baby-sit their grandchildren as promised. Family members told WAGA that the couple was last seen in Marietta, outside Atlanta, Thursday morning. They were planning on driving to the small town of McRae, in southeastern Georgia, to look at a 1966 Ford Mustang they were interested in buying from someone on Craigslist.
Authorities said Monday the couple’s car was found in a shallow pond in Telfair County in Southeast Georgia.
“We investigated the last communications that the Runions had,” said Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson. “We traced that to a cell phone in Telfair County. And we’ve traced that cell phone to the purchaser of it, which was Mr. Towns.”
Towns faces charges of giving false statements to investigators and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception.
Steverson said the bodies found are being sent to the Georgia state crime lab for identification and autopsies, and some details of the case will be kept secret until it goes to court.
He added that authorities found no evidence that Towns owned a 1966 Ford Mustang that Runion was seeking, according to The Associated Press.