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Kara Kopetsky's family hopes answers come soon at 10th annual Walk for Kara

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2020-01-03 18:46:15-05

Many things have changed in 10 years, but not the community's support for Kara Kopetsky's family.

For a decade family, friends, and even strangers have walked the same stretch of 58 Highway in Belton, Missouri holding up signs all for Kara Kopetsky.

The outgoing 17-year-old was last seen walking the halls at her high school on May 4, 2007. Her family hasn't given up the search since.

Previous coverage: 5 things to know about the 2007 disappearance of Kara Kopetsky 

"Kara is still technically a missing person. You know we're still waiting to get that answer, still kind of living in limbo," Rhonda Beckford said, Kopetsky's mother. 

But this year's walk is different. Beckford said this was the last.

 

 

"Now with the new developments, with the remains, we're hoping that we see the light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

Beckford says she knows in her heart a second pair of skeletal remains found in rural Cass County in April is her daughter's. They're now waiting on DNA confirmation that could come next month.

The discovery brought Rhonda and another grieving mom together, Jamie Runions. Her daughter's remains, 21-year-old Jessica Runions, were found in the same area. She had been missing for seven months.

"Once we get justice, our girls can be at peace and that is what I want for our girls. They're not at peace right now, they're not. Yes, they've been found but they're not at peace. And so we can't be at peace unless they are at peace and so we're going to be a voice for them," Runions said.

Beckford said they've gotten to know each other's daughters through the tragedy.  Both loved people, and both had huge smiles.

 

 

"They were just so much alike that I feel they brought me and Jamie together to go through this together and support each other. I feel they're in heaven together," Beckford said.

She imagines the bright future Kara would have had. Maybe she'd be married with kids by now. All of that was stolen ten years ago.

But by this time next year, Beckford feels Kara will have the justice she deserves.

"We like to use the word resolution. Because we won't have closure because Kara is still going to be gone, and we won't have closure until will all be reunited again on the other side," Beckford said. 

There is still a $90,000 reward for information about Kara's disappearance. 

Both the Beckfords and Runions families think Kylr Yust killed their daughters. Yust dated Kara off and on in 2007, and she had filed a protection order against him weeks before she vanished. Runions was last seen leaving a party with him in September.

He is still behind bars, charged with knowingly burning Runions's car the night she disappeared. 

Yust hasn't been charged with either girls' disappearance.

There is still a 90,000 reward for any information about what happened to Kara.

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