Ten years after disappearance, Kara Kopetsky's family still wait - KCTV5

Ten years after disappearance, Kara Kopetsky's family still waits for answers

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Life as Kara's family and friends knew it changed on May 4, 2007. After her disappearance, every day became another day without her, and another day trying to find out what happened to her. (File) Life as Kara's family and friends knew it changed on May 4, 2007. After her disappearance, every day became another day without her, and another day trying to find out what happened to her. (File)
BELTON, MO (KCTV) -

On this day ten years ago, Kara Kopetsky's family and friends began an agonizing search for her, unaware they'd be waiting for answers a decade later.

They say they knew from the moment Kara disappeared, something was terribly wrong. Despite false sightings and theories that she ran away, their instincts told them Kara was gone.

They still believe that 3,653 days later.

Life as Kara's family and friends knew it changed on May 4, 2007. After her disappearance, every day became another day without her, and another day trying to find out what happened to her.

  On Sunday, Rhonda and James Beckford will walk a stretch of Belton as they have year after year for ten long years to honor Kara and ask for tips.

“As a mother, you get up every day with the expectation that possibly today will be the day that you get answers,” Rhonda Beckford said.

For years, they've anxiously watched investigators search ponds and walk shoulder-to-shoulder, scouring fields only to be left with no answers time and time again.

On April 3, yet another massive search brought them the closest they've ever been to the resolution they've longed for.

A mushroom hunter discovered two sets of human remains in Cass County near East 233rd and Missouri Highway Y south of Belton.

“Nobody wants to think of their child being left out in a field for ten years,” Rhonda Beckford said.

After the discovery, a police lieutenant called to tell Kara's family one set of remains could be her.

“To hear those words spoken as a mother, it still hurts,” Rhonda Beckford said.

They are once again waiting for a lab to run DNA tests to determine if the remains are in fact their daughter. They’ve called everyone they can think of to ask that the tests are expedited.

“I really do feel that they are her. It's like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel. I feel like we are getting closer, really close to that resolution,” Rhonda Beckford said. 

If confirmation comes, the family will start their fight for justice. 

“We hope we get that conviction … not for us but for Kara,” said James Beckford, Kara’s stepfather.

“She deserved to live longer than 17 years. Her whole future was stolen from her,” Rhonda Beckford said.

The couple has long suspected person of interest Kylr Yust was responsible for Kara's disappearance.

Kara had filed for a protection order against him right before she went missing. She reported Yust kidnapped her, choked her and threatened to slit her throat.

In her own words, Kara wrote she was in immediate danger because, “I’m unsure what he will do next because the abuse has gotten worse over time.”

“The walls that have surrounded us for ten years. They came down with the discovery of those skeletal remains. I feel the person responsible, as smug and arrogant as he could be, now those walls will surround him. They will surround him for a lot longer than ten years,” James Beckford said.

Yust is currently in jail charged with burning Jessica Runions’ SUV. She disappeared on Sept. 8, after she was last seen with Yust.

“I don't think he is ever going to get out which is a good thing, because with the type of person he is, he is just going to keep victimizing innocent young women,” Rhonda Beckford said.

Runions’ family received confirmation that one of the sets of remains found was her.

So far, no one is charged for her death. Both families are leaning on each other as they work to get justice for their girls.

“We really do feel our girls brought us together, because they knew separate from each other this would be too hard for us to handle,” Rhonda Beckford said.

Kara's family members want to thank everyone that has stood by them all these years. They hope they will continue to do so at this year’s walk at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Cedar Tree Shopping Center in Belton.

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