Former roommate of missing woman keeps looking at pictures, believing in friend’s return

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Family and friends of Jessica Runions, 21, of Raymore, hope the man last seen with her will now help police find her.

Kylr Yust remains in the Jackson County jail, because police say he burned Jessica's car sometime after leaving a party with her on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Even though Yust is connected to another missing woman, Kara Kopetsky, who disappeared in May 2007 at the age of 17-years-old, those closest to Jessica are still hopeful and working tirelessly to find her and bring her home.

Jessica Runions and her friend Kathryn

Jessica Runions and her friend Kathryn

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke to Kathryn Waugh, Jessica's former roommate. She says she spends all of her free time now looking for Jessica. She passes out fliers and sends out information online.

"I have been glued to the TV, glued to my phone, to Facebook waiting for news, information, waiting for somebody to find something about where she is," said Waugh.

Waugh and Runions were roommates and she still considers her a very close friend.  She recalls the dinners they had together as roommates, their shopping trips and 'girls' nights out.'

"I still consider her like a sister to me," she said. "She helped me through a lot of hard moments in my life and we were kind of there for each other in that aspect."

They worked together at Foxwood Springs Senior Living Senior, a place everyone says brought out Jessica's generous spirit.

"She loved the residents at Foxwood and all of them loved her. She is just that type of person where she brings out the best in people," said Waugh.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien sat with Waugh as she scrolled through pictures of Jessica and smiled at the beautiful memories.

Then, Waugh came upon a picture of Kylr Yust.

"That's scary. It looks like there is nothing in his eyes," she said.  (Watch her reaction in the video player above.)

Police are asking for the public's help to find Jessica. If you know anything about where Kylr or Jessica went after the party, or any other information, you're asked to call the TIPS Hotline. It is anonymous.  The number is 816-474-TIPS (8477).

"Jessica is a good girl, a brave girl, so wherever she is, she will come home," Waugh said.

When O'Brien asked if Waugh is convinced Jessica is still alive, Waugh replied:

"I am holding on to hope that she is. Yeah."

Kylr Yust's birthday is on Thursday, Sept. 14.  He turned 28-years-old, is being held in the Jackson County jail on $50,000 cash-only bond.


Benton County mugshot

Benton County mugshot