Mother: 'I just want to honor Kara'; services held on Saturday - KCTV5

Mother: 'I just want to honor Kara'; services held on Saturday

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Kara Kopetsky's remains were identified last month through DNA testing. She had been missing since leaving Belton High School on May 4, 2007. (File) Kara Kopetsky's remains were identified last month through DNA testing. She had been missing since leaving Belton High School on May 4, 2007. (File)
Rhonda Beckford Rhonda Beckford
BELTON, MO (KCTV) -

Funeral services have been announced for 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky.

Visitation will be held at the I.B.E.W. Local Union 124 Meeting Hall, 305 E. 103rd Terr. in Kansas City from 10-1 p.m. Saturday followed by a memorial service. She will be buried at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

"I just want to honor Kara and I want to let people know what a wonderful person Kara was," said her mother Rhonda Beckford. "We felt for a long time that Kara was gone but planning a funeral just makes it all very real. You realize you are not as strong or tempered as you feel you are."

She hopes the community will wear purple or other bright colors that represent Kara's vibrant personality.

She purchased 800 butterfly mementos for Kara's friends and family.

"It talks about losing someone and their soul being carried to Heaven on the wings of a butterfly," Beckford said. 

Kopetsky's remains were identified last month through DNA testing. She had been missing since leaving Belton High School on May 4, 2007. Belton is about 20 miles south of Kansas City.

Her skull was found in a wooded area near Belton, the day after a mushroom hunter discovered the remains of 21-year-old Jessica Runions, of Raymore. Runions was last seen in September 2016, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Runions and Kopetsky have both been linked to 27-year-old Kylr Yust, who was seen leaving a gathering with Runions on Sept. 8, 2016.

Yust has been charged with burning Runions' car, which was found in the days after she disappeared. Court records indicate Kopetsky filed a protection order against Yust in April 2007. Yust has not been charged in the disappearance of either Runions or Kopetsky.

"Kara had a contagious smile and a carefree attitude that attracted people to her. She loved music, shopping, and animals. Kara had a fierce loyalty toward her family and friends. She had a zest for life that was snuffed out way too early," her obituary states.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kara Kopetsky Fund, c/o Commerce Bank Bel-Ray Branch, 8200 E. 171st St., Belton, MO 64012.

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