It’s about Kara, of course, but it’s also about so many other people who have just disappeared.
The 10th annual walk for Kara Kopetsky in Belton on Sunday drew at least 100 people, many of whom carried signs with messages like “Kara is Loved” and “Honor Walk for Kara.”
Kopestsky, then 17, vanished from Belton High School on May 4, 2007.
Her mother, Rhonda Beckford, is resigned to the worst news but she is still waiting. The most recent information she has received from authorities is that it might be two more months before forensic analysis by the FBI of a skull found in April in rural Cass County can say if it was that of her daughter.
Beckford held a simple purple clover in her hand Sunday as she thanked people for attending the walk near Missouri 58 and Route Y.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “We’re just waiting for confirmation.”
“You guys have become our family,” Beckford said to the crowd. “We can never thank you enough. We love you guys.”
In the gathering was Bridget McKeown, whose 71-year-old mother, Shirley McKeown, went missing in Kansas City in 2002. It is important to her to show solidarity. She wore a button remembering 19-year-old Jesse Ross, a Belton student she didn’t know who went missing in Chcago in 2006. That case has not been solved, either.
Kara’s grandmother, who asked that her name not be used, said she attends every court hearing for Kylr Yust, the man accused of burning the car of another young woman who went missing. The remains of 21-year-old Jessica Runions of Raymore were found by a mushroom hunter in April near a quarry in Cass County near 233rd Street and Route Y. A second skull found nearby is still under analysis. Yust was associated with both Kopetsky and Runions.
Missouri 58 in Belton is a busy commercial strip, but drivers of several passing vehicles honked in recognition of the walk for Kara Kopetsky.