As one family mourns the loss of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, whose body was found Wednesday after she disappeared four days earlier, another family is still wondering where their daughter is.
Kara Kopetsky, 17, disappeared more than a month ago from her Belton, Mo., home, which is about six miles from where Smith's body was found. Smith was abducted from Overland Park, Ill. Edwin R. Hall, 26, was arrested and charged Thursday with her kidnapping and murder.
"We're convinced someone knows something. [Hall] was from Olathe, which is as close as Overland Park. You know, it's 20 minute [away]," Kara's mother, Rhonda Beckford, told FOX News on Thursday, leaving open the possibility Hall could be involved in her daughter's disappearance.
Kara was last seen on the morning of May 2 at her high school, Beckford said. Kara had called her mother that morning to ask her to bring her history textbook to school and to wash her work uniform. But she never arrived at work that afternoon.
Kara was reported spotted at an an area gas station in Lewisburg, Mo., on May 4, the same day her cell phone and debit card were last used.
"The Lewisburg sighting gave us hope because, in this situation, that's what you hope. You don't want to think about the bad things that could happen," Kara's stepfather, Jim Beckford, told FOX News.
Belton police said they were not ruling out a connection between the Kara's disappearance and Smith's murder.
"I’m not going to discount the possibility these cases are connected … but I can’t draw that conclusion at this point," Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told reporters Wednesday.
Police notified the Beckfords on Wednesday that the body they found was not their daughter.
The Beckfords told FOX News they were partially relieved at the news, since that means their daughter may still be alive. But they are wracked with fear that their daughter may have suffered a similar fate.
"Part of our life is missing," Rhonda Beckford told FOX News.
"We got to the part where we don't eat, don't hardly sleep, just cat naps," added Jim Beckford. "Nothing else really seems important."
Rhonda Beckford said Kara had an ex-boyfriend whom police had interviewed several times and he has been cooperating fully.
Kara is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds and has red hair and hazel eyes.