News of Kara Kopetsky’s positive ID met with mix of sadness, relief for those close to Belton family

BELTON, Mo. -- A woman who stood by a Belton family says a missing teen's parents can now "plan her funeral. They can say goodbye, and then they can have a place to mourn her."

Terry Mason has known Jim and Rhonda Beckford during the 10 years in which their daughter has been missing. Kara Kopetksy was last seen leaving Belton High School in May 2006. Wednesday, the FBI positively identified a set of remains found earlier this year in Cass County as Kopetsky's.

"The whole community came together as one. Because it happened in our town. We’re not going to let it go. Every time you’d turn on the news and see a missing person or a body found or remains found, so many times we all jumped for joy, oh they found her they found her, and it wasn’t her," Mason said.

Wednesday the F.B.I announced a set of human remains found in Cass County field earlier this year were Kopetsky's. The news brought a mix of sadness and relief.

"A lightness that after all these years of looking, the weight came off. That we finally did even though it’s been so long, she’s coming home," Mason said.

No one has been charged with anything in relation to the teen's disappearance or death, but Mason said there is no doubt in her mind who put Kara in that field. But Mason said, "This isn’t about him, it’s about Kara and finding her and Jim and Rhonda can get some resolution and we can move into the next phase."

She said the next phase is about justice for Kara.

Donna Ross said as the news comes for the Beckfords, she holds out hope for own son. She knows the couple because she and her husband have been looking for their son Jesse since 2007. Ross said it's a club they never asked to be a part of.

Their son Jesse went missing in Chicago almost 11 years ago. Ross said they've shared a similar pattern of grief and as the Ross family heard that the F.B.I identified Kara's remains Wednesday, a wave of emotion hit them pretty hard.

"I was happy for them, really. They have answers and they’ve waited so long, and now she can come home," Ross said.

She also said it's so important to keep the names of missing loved ones out in the public eye.

"If you don’t keep pushing and trying, their file will end up on the bottom of a file just drawing dust," Ross said.

Ross said her husband writes letters to local leaders every week to make sure no one forgets their son. They say the world doesn't stop for you when you have a missing child and it's up to the parents to be their voice.