Name: Jessica Runions
Age: 21 years old
Last seen: September 8, 2016
Location: Grandview, Missouri
Status: Found Deceased
On September 8th, 2016, 21-year-old Jessica Runions disappeared after leaving a party at a home in Grandview, Missouri at approximately 11:00 pm. She was last seen accompanied by Kylr Yust, who was a childhood friend of her boyfriend.
According to witnesses, Kylr, who had been released from prison two days prior, was drinking heavily at the party and he and Reunions were seen arguing.
Witnesses at the gathering where Runions was last seen with Kylr, stated he was drinking heavily and was “acting very possessive towards Jessica Runions and aggressive towards others at the party”.
On September 10th, 2016, Jessica’s mother Jamie Runions contacted the Belton Police Department to report that her daughter was missing.
On September 10, 2016, at 1:41 am, Jessica’s vehicle, a black 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, was found abandoned and burned in a wooded area of 95th Street and Blue River Road in south Kansas City, Missouri.
On the same day the car was found, a witness identified as J.C.* contacted Belton police and allegedly said he was with Kylr Yust who had told J.C. he had strangled and killed Runions and that “she was gone.”
Kylr also allegedly told J.C. that he dragged Jessica Runions’ body into a wooded area and asked J.C. to help burn her car. The witness also allegedly told police he was with Kylr when he set the vehicle on fire. During that time, Kylr had also received burns to his hands and face.
The information about J.C. would eventually lead media to learn that witness’ identity was Kylr Yust’s step-brother, Jessep Carter.
On September 11th, 2016, at 9:36 a.m., a search warrant was served at Jessep Carter’s mobile home and Kylr Yust was taken into custody.
According to police, Kylr had burns on his hands, face, and arms and scratches on his face at that time, matching Jessep Carter’s testimony.
On September 11th, 2016, Yust was arrested and charged with knowingly burning Jessica Runions’ vehicle. He pleaded not guilty and awaited trial in Jackson County Jail.
On the morning of May 4th, 2007, Kara’s mother dropped her off at Belton High School. Her mother later returned to the school to bring her a textbook and her work uniform, dropping them off at the front desk.
Around 9:19 a.m, Kara was seen on the school security video walking down the hall, likely to skip the third period, which she did quite often. Kara Kopetsky never returned to school or home and has not been heard from since.
Four days before Kara Kopetsky disappeared, she had broken up with her 18-year-old boyfriend Kylr Yust. She had filed an order of protection against him, for allegedly kidnapping her and forcing her into his vehicle when she was leaving work the evening of April 28th, 2007.
On May 6th, 2007, Kylr told police that he didn’t have any contact with Kara on the day of her disappearance. He said he had a missed call from Kara around 11 a.m the morning she went missing, but she didn’t answer when he tried to call her back.
However, phone records revealed that Kara had actually made a phone call to him at 9:13 a.m, and he called her back at 9:20 a.m, just one minute after she was last seen leaving high school on surveillance video.
On April 3rd, 2017, a witness identified as T.K. discovered human remains in the area of 233rd Street and Y Highway in Cass County. These remains were identified as belonging to Jessica Runions.
The second set of remains were found in the same area the following day, and police said those remains appeared to be much older. These remains were later identified to be those of Kara Kopetsky.
Murder charges for the deaths of Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky were filed against Kylr Yust on October 5th, 2017. He was also charged with two counts of abandonment of a corpse, which were dismissed in court on March 4, 2021.
On June 7th, 2021, Kylr Yust was sentenced to 45 years in prison after the judge accepted the jury’s recommended maximum sentence in his murder trial. His 15-year sentence for Kara Kopetsky’s death and life imprisonment for Jessica Runions’ will be served consecutively.