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Family hopes bracelet offers a clue to disappearance of Kara Kopetsky

Family marks nine years Kara Kopetsky's disappearance

Rhonda Beckford talks about her daughter at the site of an annual walk in Belton to remember her. Kara was 17 years old when she went missing.
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Rhonda Beckford talks about her daughter at the site of an annual walk in Belton to remember her. Kara was 17 years old when she went missing.

In the last known image of Kara Kopetsky, she was wearing a bracelet that her family now hopes may provide a clue to what happened to the 17 year-old Belton High Student nine years ago.

Kara’s mother, Rhonda Beckford, on Sunday distributed copies of a selfie Kara took shortly before she went missing in which she was wearing the bracelet and a matching necklace.

If it is the same one in a school surveillance photo taken the day she disappeared, Beckford hopes the image may jar someone’s memory — or that maybe her killer kept it as a trophy.

“There’s no resolution,” said Beckford, who keeps waiting to learn what happened to her daughter on May 4, 2007.

The school security camera showed Kara leaving the building just before 10:30 a.m. That was about the same time as the last call on her cellphone. Law enforcement officers have searched various locations over the years, but the mystery continues.

More than 50 people turned out Sunday for a annual walk on Missouri 58 in Belton to remember. A website, SearchingForKara.com, has more information. Signs along the highway read “Still searching. Nine years is too long” and “Kara is loved. We won’t give up.”

Beckford is realistic.

“We know she is not coming back alive,” she said, adding that Kara’s spirit has visited her four times over the years to tell her she is in a good place.

“I know I’ll see her on the other side,” Beckford said. “My faith keeps me going.”

Kara decided to walk to school on that Friday morning. She did not come home, and she did not show up for work after school. Beckford and Kara’s stepfather, Jim Beckford, reported her missing that evening.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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