Missouri

Families of missing Missouri women contacted after sets of human remains found

Jessica Runions on left and Kara Kopetsky on right.

Jessica Runions on left and Kara Kopetsky on right.  (FOX 4 Kansas City)

Authorities in Missouri have been in contact with families of two young missing women from the Kansas City area after the discovery of two sets of human remains this week.

A day after a mushroom hunter found human bones in a remote area of Cass County, officials said Tuesday they found a second human skull in a wooded area near the town of Belton, located south of Kansas City.

While officials would not confirm if the remains were from Kara Koptesky and Jessica Runions, authorities have been in contact with their families, FOX 4 Kansas City reported.

Captain Kevin Tieman told FOX 4 the skull recovered Monday has been sent to the Jackson County Medical Examiner for further examination.

Kopetsky, 17, has been missing since May 2007, and Runions was reported missing in September 2016. Kopetsky was last seen leaving Belton High School and has not been seen since. Runions, 21, was last seen at a party with her boyfriend and one of his friends, Kylr Yust, 28.

Yust was dating Koptesky before her disappearance. He has never been charged in her disappearance, but she and her mother, Rhonda Beckford, filed a restraining order against him shortly before she was reported missing.

Yust was also a friend of Runions, and was charged with "knowingly burning" the 21-year-old's car.  He was arrested in September 2016 at his family’s home in Edwards, Mo., about two hours from Kansas City, but has not faced additional charges related to her disappearance.

In recent months, Kara’s mother, and Jessica’s mother, Jamie Runions, told FOX 4 they have become friends with the common and devastating bond of missing a child.

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“I don’t think I could get through this without them and my family and friends,” Runions said. “It’s just hard. It’s the hardest thing anybody would have to go through.”

Beckford said authorities brought them in Tuesday because they "thought there would be some information," but so far "it just hasn't panned out to be that way."

“My feeling is Kara is gone, but of course there is always that doubt in the back of your mind when you don’t know 100 percent," Beckford said. "You always hold onto that hope that’s what you go on. But we need a resolution to this and we need to find out what happened to our girls. Good or bad, we just want them home.”

“Every hour, every day, every minute, we just hope and pray those answers come in and we find our daughters and we are able to put the dirtbag away for the rest of his life so he can’t hurt anyone else again,” Beckford added.

In January, groups searching for Runions’ body found two bodies while searching, but neither of those bodies belonged to either of the two women.

Read more from FOX4KC.com.