Closure for one family leaves an open wound for another following discovery of remains

Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2020-01-03 13:58:06-05

Police identified a set of human remains as Jessica Runions, but her mother said she still carries the burden of another.

A day after learning that her daughter was found in a Cass County field, Jamie Runions is back at the home of Kara Kopetsky’s parents. 

“I had a friend that said, ‘Trust Jim and Rhonda [Beckford]; you’ll never go wrong with them. Just trust in them,’” Jamie Runions said. 

Each family has leaned on one another for strength. 

“The resolution won’t be over until we find Kara. Yes, I have my daughter, but the thing of it is, it’s not fair that I got my daughter right now and [Rhonda] doesn't have identification on hers. Right now I need that to be OK. I need her to be OK,” Jamie Runions said. 

Although investigators have said it may take up to a year to identify the second set of remains, Rhonda Beckford’s gut says otherwise. 

“I firmly believe that it's not gonna be a year. I believe that I will know the identity of the second set of remains before the 10-year mark, before May 4,” Rhonda Beckford said. 

The common thread between the two missing women is Kylr Yust, who reportedly was abusive with Kara during their relationship and is now in jail, charged with burning Jessica Runions’s car. 

“I'm not looking for vengeance. I'm looking for justice, looking for these girls because he's not going to get away with what he's done,” Beckford said. 

As the investigation carries on these two mothers will continue to be their daughters’ voices. 

“My daughter always called me, ‘mama bear,’ and there's ‘mama bear’ for a reason because I'm stubborn and determined and I will fight like crazy for my kids and I've done that and I will continue to do that until I get justice,” Jamie Runions said. 

Both families are grateful for the community’s continued support.