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Mothers of Kara Kopetsky, Jessica Runions express thanks

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Apr 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The mothers of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions spoke outside the Cass County Justice Center Friday afternoon, moments after learning the man convicted in their daughters’ deaths will spend years in prison.

Early Friday afternoon, the jury recommended the maximum allowable sentences for Kylr Yust after convicting him with second-degree murder in the death of Runions and voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kopetsky.

“I just want to start by saying it’s been a very long 14 years and we would not be here today if it was not for the amazing support of the community,” Kopetsky’s mother, Rhonda Beckford, told reporters outside the courthouse.

Beckford thanked those that worked to get the story of their daughters out in the public.

“We’re just thankful,” Beckford said. “We’re thankful to be where we are today because there were days when we didn’t know if our girls would ever be found."

“We’re just so thankful they were found and we have them back now,” Beckford concluded.

She was joined by Jamie Runions, Jessica’s mother.

“I just want to thank the community and you guys for allowing us to have the last four years of just not bugging us and just allowing us to concentrate on our girls,” Jamie Runions said. “We appreciate everyone’s support and the community has been amazing. The love for the girls has just been — it’s overwhelming. And we just thank you for all your prayers, love and support.”

41 Action News is committed to bringing you complete coverage of the trial of Kylr Yust, the man accused in the murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions. Visit kshb.com/yusttrial for all our stories, case details, timeline and more.