Homicide

Missing woman's relatives find missing man's body in Missouri

A search team found the body of Brandon Herring, left, while looking for Jessica Runions.

A search team found the body of Brandon Herring, left, while looking for Jessica Runions.  (Fox 4)

Family members scouring for any sign of a Missouri woman missing for months made a surprising discovery over the weekend: the body of a missing man.

The relatives were searching through a creek bed in Kansas City for 21-year-old Jessica Runions, who vanished last September, the Kansas City Star reported.

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Her father, John Michael Runions, told the newspaper he spotted human remains on Saturday -- but “I knew right off the bat when I saw the person that it wasn’t her.”

Instead, police said the group found the body of 21-year-old Brandon Herring of Raytown, who had disappeared last November, according to Fox 4.

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"Somebody else's family is going to get some answers," Runions' father added. Investigators called it a homicide and said they were working to determine how long Herring's body had been there.

A man linked to the Runions case was questioned in connection with the 2007 disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. Both women remain missing.

Jessica Runions' family reported her disappearance on September 9. She was last seen leaving a house party in south Kansas City with 28-year-old Kylr Yust, Fox 4 reported.

Her burned-out 2012 Chevrolet Equinox turned up two days later in a wooded area. Yust was charged with torching the SUV. A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

He was also a person of interest after his ex, 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky, vanished in 2007, but has not been charged in either disappearance, police said.

As for the missing man, his mother, Rhonda Herring, told Fox 4 everything seemed fine during their final phone conversation last year. “'What you doing?' 'Mom, I'm cool. Just out.' I said, 'alright, just checking to see what you're doing. I love you,' and he said 'I love you too, mama.' That was it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.