SUNSET, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – A grieving mother gathered alongside community members on Saturday to call attention to missing and exploited children in Utah.
Elaine Runyan’s daughter Rachael, was abducted on August 26th, 1982 from a park in Sunset. The three-year-old’s body was found in Morgan County. Since that day Elaine has worked in the community trying to solve her daughter’s case and advocate for other missing children.
“It doesn’t matter how good or great of a family you are. There are perpetrators out there that try to lure our children away,” said Runyan.
On Saturday, 35 years later, Runyan gathered at the same park Rachael was kidnapped from. In addition to calling attention to the plight of missing children, the park was renamed the ‘Rachael Runyan Memorial Park,’ and lawmakers announced that August 26th will now be known as ‘Rachael Runyan Missing and Exploited Children’s Day.’
“Maybe we can solve our case. Maybe it would be finding another missing child. It just puts people on alert and keeps that awareness there,” Runyan replied when asked why this day is so important.
Runyan tells ABC4 Utah that she believes her daughter is “smiling down on us” and would be “very touched” to know that she has a park named after her.