Ronnie Jay Towns, 28, has been charged with murder in the case of the missing Georgia couple, Elray "Bud" Runion, 69, and wife June, 66. The Runions were last seen by family members on January 22 when they left their residence in Marietta, Georgia to go to McRae, Georgia, a town three hours away, to look at a 1966 Ford Mustang Mr. Runion found via the website Craigslist. When they failed to show up at a family function the next day, the family reported them missing.

Police were led to Towns through cell phone records as he was the last contact made by the Runions on their cell phone.

Due to statements made by Towns during the police interview, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was to be charged with giving false statements to the police and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Towns surrendered to the police on January 26 at the advice of his father. He denies that he had anything to do with the Runions disappearance.

A vehicle owned by the Runions, a 2003 GMC Envoy, was found submerged in a lake in Telfair County Georgia. Nearby, the police located two bodies, identified as the Runions. Both victims had been shot in the head.

Towns has been charged with malice murder as well as armed robbery. The Telfair County Sherriff, Chris Steverson, stated that it appeared Towns had deceived the couple by leading them to believe he had a 1966 Ford Mustang for sale when in fact the police have found no records of him owning a Mustang.

Steverson stated that robbery appeared to be the basis for the murder of the couple.

According to family, Bud Runion owned a 1966 Ford Mustang when he returned from Vietnam. He was a Vietnam War veteran and retired from AT&T and his wife, June, was a school teacher currently working as an instructor at a pre-school. The couple, with close family ties, lived in Marietta, Georgia for 30 years.

Towns appeared in court Tuesday and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He was denied bond by the judge.