Cass County search for human remains called off due to weather conditions

CASS COUNTY, Mo. — Investigators at the scene where human remains of two different individuals were found said the search would be called off Wednesday due to weather conditions.

Authorities will resume the search Thursday morning. The area will remain under control of law enforcement agencies.

The delay keeps many waiting for more information on the case, particularly the families of two missing women who have been in contact with police since the remains were found.

On Monday, a mushroom hunter found a skull in the woods of rural Cass County, near E. 233rd Street and State Route Y south of Belton, and alerted police.

Police were able to determine the bones were human, and a further search located the skull of a second individual.

The case has drawn more attention after the families of two high profile disappearances began communicating with police, leaving many to wonder if the remains are that of two young women still considered missing.

Kara Kopetsky, from Belton, has been missing since 2007, and Jessica Runions, a Raymore woman disappeared in September 2016. Kopetsky was last seen leaving Belton High School on May 4, 2007. Runions was last seen at a party Sept. 8, 2016 with her boyfriend and one of his friends, Kylr Yust.

Yust was involved with Kara Koptesky before her disappearance. Yust has never been charged in her disappearance, but she and her mother, Rhonda Beckford, filed a restraining order against him shortly before she vanished. The order wasn’t officially granted until after she disappeared.

Yust was also a friend of Jessica Runions. He has been charged in Jackson County with ‘knowingly burning’ in connection to Jessica Runions’ case after her car was found burned shortly after her disappearance. He was arrested in September 2016 at his family’s home in Edwards, Mo., in Benton County, about two hours from Kansas City. He has not faced additional charges related to her disappearance.

While police are in contact with the families of Kopetsky and Runions, they have said they will not be able to confirm the identities of the remains for some time.

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