A decade later: the search for Kara Kopetsky continues as family feels closer to answers

Posted at 4:16 AM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2020-01-03 18:45:44-05

On May 4, 2007, 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky woke up and went to school like any other day. However she never came home.

Her mother, Rhonda Beckford, said goodbye to Kara before she left for school. Kara later called at school asking her to drop off a text book. That is the last time the two spoke.

Since then no one has seen or spoken to Kara. The last known images of her are on a surveillance video at Belton High School, skipping class around 10:30 that morning.

</p><p>There have been little clues as to where Kara is since she vanished, however the family feels closer than ever to having answers.

"I said, it's okay, go on, we have you, you know our family's back together again,” said Jim Beckford, Kara's step-father.

Her mother Rhonda feels the same way, never backing down on a promise she made to Kara ten years ago.

"Well it was a vow that I made on May 4, 2007. I told her, I said, Kara, I love you and we miss you and we are never giving up. We are never giving up until we find out what happened to you,” said Rhonda.

The Beckford’s have always felt Kara’s on-and-off-again boyfriend Kylr Yust is responsible for Kara’s disappearance. They say the pair had a tumultuous relationship.

On April 30, 2007 Kara filed a protection order against Yust. In her own hand writing she writes she needs the order, "because I am unsure of what he will do next. The abuse has gotten worse over time.” 

Police say Yust was questioned, but he was never arrested or charged in relation to Kara’s disappearance.

Yust made headlines again when 21-year-old Jessica Runions went missing. She was seen leaving a party with Yust on September 8. Her burned car was found at 95th and Blue River Road two days after she was reported missing.

Yust was arrested and charged with burning Jessica Runions' car. He remains behind bars at the Jackson County Jail.

RELATED | Sheriff: Kylr Yust and half-brother stopped same day KCPD found Jessica Runions's burned car

On April 3, a mushroom hunter found a human skull near East 233rd and State Route Y in Cass County. A second skull was found a day later by police canvassing the wooded area.

The first skull has been identified by investigators as Jessica Runions. The second skull has been sent off for testing to see if it is Kara Kopetsky.

Even though the Beckford's are awaiting confirmation, they feel they have found Kara.

Police say it could take up to a year for a positive ID of the second skull.

On Sunday the Beckford's will hold a walk to honor Kara, like they have done in years past.They say this year it is about thanking the community for everything they have done over the last decade.

"You know, until we have confirmation of that resolution it's our way of keeping her alive, her story alive, so she is you know, out there in the public eye,” said Jim Beckford.

The walk will take place Sunday May 7 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cedar Tree Shopping Center in Belton. They will start at the Subway parking lot and walk to the Quicktrip on Y Highway and 58th.