Jessica Runions: Remains identified as missing Missouri woman

One of two sets of remains found in western Missouri has been identified as 21-year-old Jessica Runions, who disappeared last September, investigators said Wednesday.

Runions, of Raymore, Mo., was last seen the night of Sept. 8, when she left a party in south Kansas City with a friend of her boyfriend's, 27-year-old Kylr Yust.

Yust was later charged with burning Runions' vehicle, which was found two days later. A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Yust is set to go to trial in October.

Yust has not been charged in Runions' disappearance, though police are investigating the case as a homicide.

A mushroom hunter found the remains identified as Runions Monday in an area south of Belton, 20 miles south of Kansas City, and a second skull was found nearby Tuesday. The remains of the second person have not been identified.

After they were discovered, authorities notified the family of Runions and Kara Kopetsky, a former girlfriend of Yust who was last seen at Belton High School in May 2007 when she was 17.

Yust also has been questioned in Kopetsky's disappearance. Court records indicated Kopetsky filed for a protection order against Yust in April 2007. A hearing was scheduled for May 10, 2007 but Kopetsky vanished six days before the hearing. Yust has not been charged in that case, either.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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