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Man Charged With Murder in Deaths of Georgia Couple

A Georgia man on Tuesday was charged with murder and armed robbery in the deaths of a couple in their 60s whose bodies were found — each shot in the head — days after they disappeared while going to check out what they thought was classic car they sought to buy through a Craigslist ad, authorities said.

Ronnie Adrian Towns, 28, was charged in court in Telfair County with murder and robbery in the deaths of Elrey "Bud" Runion, 69, and his wife, June Runion, 66. The Runions, of Marietta, went missing on Thursday after they never returned from a day trip to Telfair County, where the couple planned on looking at a 1966 Ford Mustang that someone claimed to have for sale, NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta reported. Elrey Runion had placed the ad on the popular website looking for a vintage Mustang, family members told the station.

On Monday their bodies were found in their 2003 GMC Envoy, which had been submerged in a lake. The Telfair County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that an autopsy concluded both had been shot once in the head. Towns, who turned himself in to authorities Monday, was first investigated for giving misleading statements, but was then charged with murder and robbery Tuesday, WXIA reported. He was denied bond.

"We have the Runion vehicle, we have two bodies. Now we can focus on building a case," Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson told NBC station WALB in Albany, Georgia. Steverson said he was shocked by the murders, which occurred in a county of just about 16,000 people about 75 miles southeast of Macon. "To know that someone from this community maybe involved in orchestrating such a heinous crime, it angers me. I take it personal,” he told WALB.

Image:  Elrey “Bud” Runion and his wife 66 year old June Runion were last was heard from on Thursday January 22, 2015.
Elrey "Bud" Runion, 69, and his June Runion, 66, were last was heard from on Thursday, when they headed from their home in Cobb County, Georgia, to check out a classic car advertised for sale in Telfair County. Cobb County Police Dept

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— Phil Helsel