Kara Kopetsky's mom hopes an ex-boyfriend's guilty plea in a domestic violence case means new leads

BELTON, Mo. - The mother of a Belton girl who has been missing for more than four years is hopeful that new leads may be coming to her daughter's case.

Rhonda Beckford has waited for four years, four months and two days for answers in her daughter's disappearance. She will likely have to wait longer, but she said she believes Kopetsky's ex-boyfriend knows something and police need to follow up.

In 2007, Kopetsky filed a protective order against Kylr Yust, just days before she disappeared. She accused Yust of choking her, kidnapping her and threatening to slit her throat. May 4, 2007 was the last day anybody saw Kopetsky.

On Tuesday, Yust pleaded guilty to an unrelated domestic violence charge . An 18-year-old Lee's Summit woman claimed Yust choked her, struck her and threatened to kill her.

According to documents obtained by NBC Action News Investigators , the pregnant victim told police Yust threatened her saying, "If you scream again, I will kill you, faster than you can let another scream out of your throat."

"I've killed people before, even ex-girlfriends out of sheer jealousy," the victim said Yust told her in a police report. "I will kill you."

Beckford said these allegations mirror Kopetsky's allegations against Yust.

"It's like with Kara all over again," said Beckford. "He's all about control and he wanted control over Kara."

She said police need to question Yust based on what this latest victim is claiming.

In the police report, the woman told police Yust said he knew how to hide bodies, saying, "he had family with a ranch where there were pigs that would eat anything, including bones."

"We need to find out where that's at and that needs to be searched," Beckford said.

The report goes on to say Yust told the victim, "no one would ever find her and he had unlimited resources."

"He's not normal, he's not a sane person," said Beckford. "He deserves to be behind bars."

Yust acknowledged in 2007 that he was a suspect in Kopetsky's disappearance. At that time, he told NBC Action News Investigator Russ Ptacek that he was cooperating with the Belton police investigation. Police said he passed a lie detector test and he had an alibi.

On Tuesday, Yust did not have much to say to Ptacek as he left the courtroom after pleading guilty.

A judge sentenced Yust to two years probation and no contact with the pregnant victim.

Meantime, there is an $80,000 reward for information that leads to Kopetsky.


Editor's note: In some police reports Yust's name is spelled Kylr Yust while in others he is identified as Kyler Yust.

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