Utah family pleads for help in 40-year-old cold case

Aug 26, 2022, 6:42 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

DAVIS COUNTY, UtahA Davis County family is pleading for help in a 40-year-old cold case.

It was today, back in 1982, when 3-year-old Rachael Runyan disappeared from a playground behind her family’s home.

The Runyan family

“It was only minutes as I prepared their lunch,” said Elaine Runyan.

For 40 years, Elaine Runyan has been re-sharing and re-telling her daughter’s story.

“It was at that time that a man lured her across the park with promises of bubblegum ice cream,” she said.

In some sense, re-living those horrendous moments.

“And Justin told me he had some real bad news,” Elaine said.

That while playing with her two brothers in the playground behind their house, 3-year-old Rachel Runyan disappeared.

Elaine Runyan speaks out in 1982 after her daughter disappears.

“The story unfolded that she was taken in a car, screaming, and couldn’t get away. The words were terrifying. I never expected anything like this,” Elaine said.

She’s told it so many times, keeping Rachel’s story alive through press conferences and numerous interviews.

“So people would keep talking about it, and perhaps, a killer would surface,” Elaine said.

Elaine Runyan speaks today, in 2022, about her daughter’s disappearance.

The kidnapper was described as around six feet tall, 25 to 35 years old.

“The subject has a medium-brown complexion and had a dark afro-style haircut,” said Brett Jamison, Sunset’s current police chief.

The suspect’s car looked similar to this blue Ford Pinto, with wood trim, brought by the family’s private investigator Friday.

Jamison said DNA testing has been tried on old evidence, but because of methods at the time, not much was preserved.

“Everything’s come back insufficient,” Jamison said. “Uh, inconclusive.”

Chief Brett Jamison of the Sunset Police Department.

Which brings us back to why, exhausting as it is, Elaine Runyan will keep telling her daughter’s story.

“Don’t be afraid to come forward. It’s time. We need closure.”

There’s still a $65,000 reward out for information leading to an arrest.

If you know anything, please call the Sunset Police Department, or if you want to remain anonymous, you can look up Jensen Private Investigations.

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Utah family pleads for help in 40-year-old cold case