Friends and family of Sunset 3-year-old still looking for answers in her murder, 36 years later

Local News

SUNSET, Utah (News4Utah) – It has been 36 years since the kidnapping and murder of 3-year-old Rachael Runyan of Sunset, her family is still searching for answers, and coping with the unimaginable loss. 

It was 1982 when little Rachael was last seen from a local park in Sunset, Utah. Lured away from the park with the promise of ice cream by an unknown man. 24 days later, her body was found in a creek bed. 

Sunday marked the 36 years since the young girls murder and local officials, child advocates, friends, family and community members marked the somber anniversary. The ceremony was held on Saturday at the park, now officially named after Rachael. 

Elaine Runyan, Rachael’s mom has never stopped seeking answers and has become and advocate for missing and exploited children. She says they continue to suffer not having any answers in her daughter’s death. 

“Though it’s been 36 years since I lost my daughter we still want it solved and we still suffer,” said Elaine Runyan. “It’s a horrible crime and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else and I remember thinking where were all the mothers when my daughter was kidnapped? I didn’t even know that stuff went on so I’ve kinda been a mouth piece since then.”

Rachael’s abductor has never been identified however with new DNA technology, police are hoping that one day they will track him down. 

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