In continuing search for Jessica Runions, investigators identify hotspots hoping to find her

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- It has been exactly seven weeks since 21-year-old Jessica Runions was last seen alive, and Kansas City, Mo., police continue to spend every Thursday searching for her.

Police have identified the area around south Kansas City, Grandview and Belton area as hotspots in the search for Runions.

The search squad, made up of Kansas City police detectives, K-9 officers and Missouri Search and Rescue, spent Thursday scouring the land around an abandoned golf course off of I-49 and 163rd Street.

“We just hope and pray that they hit the right spot and that’s all that it is coming down to is hitting the right spot," said Jessica's grandmother, Linda Runions.

Every search and every day that passes with no sign of the missing woman, it becomes more difficult for her family to hope that Jessica is still alive.

“You try to keep that hope, but I think deep down inside that this person who was last seen with her has nothing good behind him, and you see nothing good around him, so it’s hard, it’s hard to keep that," said Michele Runions, Jessica's aunt.

Jessica was last seen on September 8 as she left a party with 27-year-old Kylr Yust. Yust is charged with setting Runions' car on fire, and is the only suspect in the disappearance of another missing girl, 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky in 2007.

So far, Yust has not been charged in either disappearance. While Kopetsky is still missing, the Runions believe Jessica’s disappearance will be the end of the road for Yust.

"I can’t wait to find the mistake this person might have made," said Linda Runions.

The Runions describe their life the last seven weeks as an all-consuming nightmare.

Linda Runions describes the experience this way: "You can lose someone in a car accident and you know it’s over, but when you lose someone like this, when they are missing, it’s like there’s no end. You keep looking at every field, every tree, thinking that you can find her somewhere and we will, we are going to find her.”

Police with the search squad would not say if they found anything during the eight hour search Thursday. As police continue to search, so does the Runions family. Linda Runions says she and other family members go out four times a week looking for Jessica.

They believe that someone has information that can solve this case and they are asking for anyone who can help to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.