KANSAS CITY, Mo -- The man in shackles and in mug shots is not the Kylr Yust his grandfather, Alfred Yust, says he knows. Kylr Yust lived with grandfather as he had on and off since he was in third grade.
"He could be a loving boy, you know, and he was. When he gets out I don’t know what happens, but I will always love him," said an emotional Alfred.
Police know Kylr Yust has a history of violence and drug use. He was questioned in the disappearance of Kara Kopetsky nine years ago, but never charged. Now he's accused of torching an SUV and is the last person seen with missing Jessica Runions, a young woman whom the grandfather said visited his home often in recent weeks.
Alfred Yust does not know if the two were dating.
"I don’t know that much about their friendship. They would come and go. She would say hello to me and that was about it. Didn’t have any conversations with her," he said.
Runions is the second metro woman connected to Kylr Yust who has disappeared. He was the suspect in Kopetsky's disappearance, and her mother Rhonda Beckford showed up in court Thursday to let him know she is not going away. Beckford now on a mission to find out not only what happened to her daughter but also what happened to Runions.
"I can’t stress enough that we need to find Jessica. We need to find Jessica, she has been missing a week," said Beckford, who knows time is essential. “What I have said from day one is eventually the truth comes out and I think that it’s time. It’s time for the truth to come out and it’s time for him to pay. Pay the piper."
Beckford says the disappearance of Jessica Runions brings her back to the day her daughter disappeared. Over the years she believes police have been close to finding out the truth, and hopes the investigation in to Jessica's disappearance will also help find Kara.
“We have talked to people who have talked to him and they say that when they interrogate him, they feel like they are getting somewhere, they feel like he is on the verge of breaking and giving up what he knows, and then it is like flipping a switch. He flips a switch and he is like shut up, get away from me, I want my lawyer," said Beckford of the previous investigation.
Alfred Yust says in all of these years, he and his grandson have never talked about the allegations against him. He spoke to Kylr Wednesday when his grandson called to wish him a happy birthday. It was also Kylr's birthday, so they exchanged birthday wishes and then Kylr told Alfred he loves him. That was the end of the conversation.
Alfred Yust says while he supports his grandson, he is also supportive of the families of the missing women and hopes they can some day find peace.
"I am so sick about it, I feel so sorry. I do, I really feel sorry for them. If Kylr did something they will find out eventually and I will just have to get through it," he said.
A Jackson County judge entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Kylr Yust when he appeared in court Thursday. He has been charged with knowingly burning Runions' SUV, it is a class D felony. He is being held in jail on a $50,000 bond. Yust's grandfather says he does not plan on bailing him out.