The Doe Network:
Case File 563DFIL


Catherine A. Runte
Missing since May 22, 1979 from Palatine, Cook Co, Illinois
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Catherine Runte had an emotional and physical fight with husband on May 22, 1979. She left the house on foot and has not been seen or heard from since.

The husband claimed Catherine Runte had mental problems and was afraid of being hospitalized. He told police she walked out of the house, taking only a purse containing credit cards and a small amount of cash, and leaving her car behind. He reported her missing three days later after his own search for her was fruitless A private investigator he hired was also unable to learn what happened to her.

Runte lived in the Spinnaker Cove subdivision in Palatine. Relatives said at the time that she had been looking forward to her mother's upcoming second marriage and had lifelong friends in the area. Her coworkers said she seemed happy with her part-time job as an Interior designer for a Barrington firm.

Eight months before she disappeared, a man and woman armed with pistols forced their way Into her home and handcuffed her to a beam in the basement. For several hours they ransacked the house and took more than $5,000 worth of jewelry and furnishings. Runte's stepdaughter, one of two who lived at home, found her when she returned home from high school. Police are uncertain if the the home invasion has any relation to her disappearance.

Several months after Catherine Runte disappeared, a telephone company serviceman discovered a wire tap on her mother's home phone In Carpentersville. No one knows who placed the wiretap or whether it could be related.
None of the credit cards Mrs Runte had with her has been used. Area cab companies told police she was not picked up the night she disappeared.

Her family told police that Mrs. Runte had argued previously with her husband during their six years of marriage and that she left for periods of a couple of hours "to cool off." On one occasion, she was gone for several days but informed her family of her whereabouts.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Palatine Police Department
Detective Mike Tulley

Agency Case Number: 79E251032

NCIC Number: M742780886
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
Palatine Police Department
Newspaper Archive
NamUs MP #17889

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Last Updated: 1/9/2013 - By: BR / Web Assist