BELTON, Mo. -- A new development in a decade-long missing persons case has now turned the investigation into a homicide. The FBI has recently confirmed that a set of human remains found in rural Cass County back in April belongs to missing 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky.
"The last four months have been hard waiting. The 10 years were hard waiting. The waiting is the hardest part," said Rhonda Beckford, Kara's mother.
The family was notified of this discovery on Wednesday. Family members say this new development confirms a suspicion they've had for months.
"We felt from the very beginning that the other set of remains were Kara," Beckford explained.
A mushroom hunter located two sets of remains in Rural Cass County in April of 2017. One was identified as 21-year-old Jessica Runions. The other set was a bit older, therefore, more difficult to identify.
Kylr Yust is in jail in connection with burning an SUV that belonged to Runions. He has not been charged with anything in connection to the murder and disappearance of Kopetsky. Family members say Yust has dated both women in the past.
"He deserves to be put away so he can’t hurt anybody else ever again," said Beckford.
Family members of both families have been leaning on one another for support in the wake of these tragedies. Kopetsky's parents say they are somewhat comforted by this latest discovery, but their road to getting justice for their daughter is far from over.
"We’ve gotten Kara identified and now we can have a funeral and put her to rest, the way it should have always been, and move towards prosecution," said Beckford.
"This isn't over yet, we're just moving into a new phase and I'm still determined to get justice for my daughter," she explained.
Kopetsky's parents plan to contact authorities to get their daughters remains back so they can finally have a proper funeral for her. They expressed heartfelt thanks to the community, law enforcement agencies and the mushroom hunter who found both sets of remains.