Discovery of human remains may be connected to missing Kara Kope - KCTV5

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Discovery of human remains may be connected to missing Kara Kopetsky, Jessica Runions

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The families of two missing women were told about the discovery and asked to meet with Belton police Tuesday. (File) The families of two missing women were told about the discovery and asked to meet with Belton police Tuesday. (File)
Detectives with the Cass County Sheriff's Office are continuing to search the area near East 233rd and State Route Y. (KCTV5) Detectives with the Cass County Sheriff's Office are continuing to search the area near East 233rd and State Route Y. (KCTV5)
On Tuesday morning, a second human skull was located in the same search area deputies say. (KCTV5) On Tuesday morning, a second human skull was located in the same search area deputies say. (KCTV5)
Authorities say they will be in the area for awhile to conduct an extensive search of the area. (KCTV5) Authorities say they will be in the area for awhile to conduct an extensive search of the area. (KCTV5)
CASS COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -

A possible break in two cases involving young women who vanished, seemingly without a trace.

Belton police have been in contact with the families of Kara Kopetsky who disappeared in 2007 and Jessica Runions who hasn't been seen since her burned out car was discovered last year.

While the Cass County Sheriff's Office said no identification has been made at this time, Kopetsky's parents told KCTV5 that Belton police called them and told them the second skull may be hers. Authorities say they will most likely send the bones to an out of state lab for identification.

A second human skull was located in the same search area, according to investigators. 

Police only called Kopetsky's family, but when they found out Runions' mother was with them, they said to bring her too. 

Detectives with the Cass County Sheriff's Office are continuing to search the area near East 233rd and State Route Y for additional evidence and remains.

The investigation began after a mushroom hunter discovered human remains in a wooded area on Monday.

Runions, Kopetsky families have long waited for answers

Video surveillance from Belton High School on May 4, 2007, is the last video of Kopetsky alive. 

Kopetsky disappeared one week after she filed a protection order against her boyfriend, Kylr Yust. He has never been charged in the case but was charged in connection with the disappearance of Jessica Runions.

Yust was arrested by Missouri Highway Patrol in September 2016 and was charged with knowingly burning Runions' vehicle.

Nearly 10 years earlier, Yust had been seen with Kopetsky multiple times in the months leading up to her disappearance. Her family has maintained their belief that Yust is responsible for her daughter's disappearance. 

"I can't put it any other way, but I hate him," Rhonda Beckford, Kopetsky's mother, said to KCTV5 News last September. "I hate him for taking not only my child, but possibly taking another." 

Yust has never been charged for Kopetsky's disappearance. In 2007, Kopetsky filed for a protection order against Yust. In 2011, an additional person filed for a protection order against him. 

He was sentenced to federal prison for three years and nine months for felony drug trafficking in 2013. In 2014, Yust pleaded guilty to a theft charge. 

In May, Beckford provided KCTV5 News a photo, asking anyone who may have seen the bracelet their daughter was wearing in this photo to immediately report it. 

"I didn't find the necklace and bracelet," she said. "Killers and serial killers have a tendency when they take a victim to keep an item that the person had on. They use it as a trophy." 

Runions’ family says she was last seen by her friends at a party in Kansas City, MO. The host of that party told her family she left with Yust.

The sheriff's office cannot confirm the ages, gender or anything else about the bones found there. 

Cass County Sheriff Jeff Weber said the investigation will continue. 

"We'll continue to work," Weber said. "We've asked for the assistance of state local and federal agencies but we're trying to get done before the rain comes tonight. It's going to hamper our search."

Runions mother took to Facebook to thank people for their work and their support in the search for her daughter.

Thanks to everyone's prayers, love & support! Please know I am grateful for all of you. This is the hard part for me, waiting. I am also blessed to have Rhonda, Jim, my family and friends. Love to all of you. My girls and I can't do it without you. #JusticeforJessicaandKara

The news comes just one day after a mushroom hunter found human bones in a wooded area in rural Cass County. 

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