Rachael Marie Runyan was born June 23rd, 1979. Rachael came from a loving home in a small town called Sunset, Utah. It was like any other day for the young child, playing at the park behind their home, which was so close she could have hit it with a tennis ball. The day was August 26th, 1982. Rachel was there with her brothers and a few other local children. A man approached and homed in on Rachael. He spoke to her with promises of candy from a nearby store, which Rachael found irresistible. The man seemed nice enough. As Rachael became distracted by the allure of treats, her brother called out to her. Rachael turned and started back but was accosted by the man. Rachael would last be seen in the man’s blue sedan. It was reported by the children that the man was African-American, in his 20s to mid-30s, approximately 6 feet tall and sported a mustache.
The brothers rushed to grab their mother, who quickly got to the store the stranger claimed to be taking Rachael, but they were gone. Details of the search and investigation immediately after the abduction were hard to find but one could only imagine, the disappearance of such a small child would be the state’s top priority. But sadly, many of the safe guards we have now for missing children were not present back then. No trace of Rachael was found.
In a little over 3 weeks, the decomposed remains of the young girl would be discovered in Sunset’s neighboring county of Morgan, an approximate a 30-minute drive from where the girl was taken. A family had been out for a drive and as they came near a stream they initially thought they had found a doll, but they soon found how wrong they were. She would be found hog tied and nude near a dirt road. Not much more was revealed in regards to evidence found at the scene and quickly the case went cold. Authorities had no way of identifying the man (at least none that the public is aware of that I was able to find) and leads began to peter out. However, a few years later after Rachael’s remains were discovered, written in a public restroom was the following: "Beware I'm Still At Large I Killed the Little Runyan Girl! Remember Beware!!!”. In addition to the note an inverted cross was it’s signature, adorned with a 6-6-6. Again there has been little in way of clues to figure out if this was truly written by the killer or if it was a sick prank. Several suspects have been seriously considered but without that key piece of evidence or a confession law enforcement face a difficult time ruling truly captivating and questionable suspects out.
Rachael has not been forgotten in her neighborhood. The park from which she was kidnapped has been renamed in her memory and before the Amber Alert became the statewide norm for missing children, the Rachel Alert was being used. A reward for any information leading to the apprehension of the sick individual guilty of the crime remains unclaimed and is now over $50,000.