SUNSET, Utah (ABC4) – A possible suspect in the murder of Rachael Runyan will be thoroughly investigated.
That’s what Sunset’s Police Chief Brett Jamison told a gathering of people honoring Rachael.
August 26 marks 40-years since the three-year old was abducted near an elementary school in Sunset.
A month later, her body was found in the mountains of Morgan County.
Her killer has yet to be found and it has become one of the longest running cold cases in Utah.
The revelation by the police chief came during the ceremony for Rachel. Her mother was there to acknowledge the day.
“I want to take a moment to honor my daughter Rachael and to all who knew her in those three short years,” said Elaine Runyan. “It’s been a difficult journey to say the least.”
August 26, 1982 would be the last day anyone saw Rachael alive. A man who was driving a blue pinto wagon with side wood panels took her from the park adjacent to Doxey Elementary.
Rachael was playing with her brothers when a man offered to take her to get ice cream.
There are the two conflicting composites of the suspect. One is of an African-American. That composite repeatedly is shown. But Rachael’s older brother, a witness, claimed the other one which is seldom shown in public is that of a Hispanic man. He said it best describes Rachael’s abductor.
Sunset’s Police Chief offered more details of the description. He said it was a man between the ages of 25 and 35-years-old.
“The suspect had a medium-dark complexion with a dark afro-style haircut,” said Chief Brett Jamison. “He also had a black moustache with a gap in the fulcrum area.”
The family’s private investigator said the public needs to focus on the person’s features such as eyes and nose. Jason Jensen said a composite can often mislead the public.
“A sketch isn’t a photo,” Jensen said. “It’s used to be a … tool to help convey a message. The description the police gave is ideal. Keep your mind open. It’s a description.”
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said her uncle, who is now deceased was a known sex offender.
“(He) had hurt little girls before,” said the niece. “(He) had hurt one of the babysitters and did time in jail. That’s why when he was around, we were kind of banned from going over there.”
Friday, the police chief said he was aware of the niece and will be meeting with her soon.
“We’ll reach out and look into it and do a thorough investigation on it to see if there’s some type of evidence that ties that person to this particular crime,” said Chief Jamison.
Rachael’s mother who has become an advocate for missing children, said she’ll never stop telling Rachael’s story because it may one day lead to her killer.
“Maybe somebody will come forward,” she said. “They don’t need to be afraid. It’s been 40-years. I just take it a day at a time.”
There is a $65,000 reward for anyone who has information that leads to a suspect and a conviction. Anyone with information is urged to contact Sunset police at 801-825-1620 or Jason Jensen.