Kylr Yust: The Murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions

 

Kara Kopetsky was 17 years old when she was last seen on May 4th, 2007. She was caught on surveillance footage asking a friend to skip class with her before she left Belton High School alone at 9:19am. At 9:20am, she received a final call from her ex-boyfriend Kylr Yust. Kara and Kylr had a rocky relationship that ended in April 2007 when she broke things off. She filed a restraining order against Kylr after accusing him of kidnapping, restraining, and choking her. He allegedly held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. In her protection order request she wrote that she was “unsure of what Yust will do next because the abuse has gotten worse over time.” A judge granted her protection order and an officer attempted to serve Kylr on May 3rd, 2007 with a trial date set for May 10th, but Kara would never be heard from again.

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After Kara’s family filed a missing person report, police were quickly able to rule out almost everybody except Kylr. He had a long history of court appearances including theft, drug charges, and abuse. He was questioned multiple times but police never had enough to hold him. Kylr admitted to being angry with Kara because she wanted out of their relationship and she wanted to date other men. He denied any contact with Kara after the attempted abduction the week before her disappearance, not knowing that the police had her cell phone records. Kara never picked up her paycheck, left her debit card in her school locker, and her cell phone was turned off. Officers were never able to hold Kylr in her disappearance and her family continued their search.

In 2011, he was served a second protection order from another ex-girlfriend for allegedly attempting to strangle her while she was pregnant. In 2013 Kylr was arrested and sentenced to three years and nine months in federal prison after pleading guilty for drug trafficking. He was put on supervised release on September 2nd 2016.

On Sept 8th 2016, 21 year old Jessica Runions attended a party with her boyfriend and his friend Kylr. Witnesses claim that he was drinking heavily and was behaving possessively and violently towards Jessica. She was last seen that evening leaving the party to give Kylr a ride home. She was never heard from again. On September 10th, police found Jessica’s car burned in a small wooded area. Kylr was arrested 2 days later after a friend of his came forward to officers. Police found him with burns all over his face, hands, and arms and apparent scratches on his face. He plead not guilty to the charge of “knowingly burning a vehicle.

Over the years since Kara’s disappearance officers heard at least 9 different stories of Kylr “admitting” to the murders of Kara and Jessica from various people in his life. In many interviews they claim that Kylr had admitted to strangling both girls.

On April 3rd, 2017 a set of remains was discovered by a mushroom hunter. During a search the next day, officers found a second set of remains in the same area. On April 5th, the first set of remains were identified as Jessica and in August the second set was identified as Kara’s. Kylr has been formally charged in the murders of Kara Kopetsky and Jessica Runions with two counts of murder and two counts of abandoning a corpse. He plead “not guilty” to these charges as well and his trial is set for November 2019.

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