Ten years after she disappeared in Belton, Kara Kopetsky will be laid to rest.
Kopetsky was 17 when she was last seen on May 4, 2007. Two sets of human remains were found in April in rural Cass County, nearly 10 miles from where she lived, and last month the Jackson County medical examiner’s office said one set had been positively identified as Kopetsky’s remains.
Rhonda Beckford, Kopetsky’s mother, said funeral services next weekend will honor her daughter.
A visitation is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 16, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 124 at 305 E. 103rd Terrace in south Kansas City.
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According to her obituary, Kopetsky was born Feb. 17, 1990, in Frankfurt, Germany to Rhonda and Michael Kopetsky. She was described as a young woman with “a contagious smile and a carefree attitude.”
“Kara had a fierce loyalty toward her family and friends,” the obituary said. “She had a zest for life that was snuffed out way too early.”
In a handwritten message displayed Friday at a booth in downtown Belton during the city’s annual fall festival, family members of Kopetsky said they were grateful for the emotional support they’ve received over the years.
“To the citizens of Belton and the many others who have been with us these past 10 years, you can’t know how often just knowing you cared kept us going,” the message said. “It’s been a long, hard road, but not once did we feel we were traveling it alone. The hugs and prayers always seemed to be offered when we needed them most. We hope you know how much strength we got from your support. We are at a loss for the words. Thank you seems so inadequate. But you have our thanks, gratitude and love.”
The second set of human remains found in Cass County was identified in April as 21-year-old Jessica Runions, a young woman from Raymore.
Runions was last seen Sept. 8, 2016, leaving a gathering with Kylr Yust, who was an estranged boyfriend of Kopetsky’s at the time of her disappearance. Authorities soon found Runions’ burned vehicle in a wooded area in south Kansas City and charged Yust with burning it.
His trial on that charge has been scheduled for October.
No charges have been filed in either woman’s death.