Authorities in Kansas City, Missouri say that a 27-year-old man, Kylr Yust, was arrested and charged with “knowingly burning” a missing woman’s vehicle, Jessica Runions, of Raymore, that was found in a secluded area, according to the Daily Mail.
On the night of Thursday, September 8, Jessica and her boyfriend went to a house party, but when she failed to return, her mother – Jamie Runions – reported her missing the following day.
“She had constant contact, it’s not like her to not return phone calls. Maybe a long period of time but she would eventually get back with you,” said Michele Runions, who is Jessica’s aunt.
Jessica’s grandmother, Linda Runions, stated that “we’re all praying every single minute’ and desperately wants to “hear that she’s okay.”
“We just want her to come home safe,” Michele add.
Just shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, local authorities received an anonymous tip, leading them to a burnt, black 2012 Chevy Equinox that was abandoned near an overpass in south Kansas City.
It was later uncovered that the vehicle belonged to the missing woman, prompting Missouri police to treat Jessica’s “disappearance as a suspicious missing person case.”
Yust, who sources say was seen leaving the house party with Jessica, was charged with burning her SUV. However, details leading up to Yust’s arrest were not immediately made available.
Captain Stacey Graves, who is with the Kansas City Police Department, stated that they are now concerned for Jessica’s safety after discovering her burnt, unoccupied vehicle.
Graves is “asking anyone who has had contact with her to call the police.”
The Missouri Search and Rescue team were called to the scene to search the area for the missing woman, but it was called off after several hours due to “darkness.”
However, the search continued the following morning.
Four search dogs were also brought to the area but investigators stated that there are no updates in Jessica’s disappearance.
Jessica’s mother is doing all that she can to spread the word about her missing daughter via social media, including “posting flyers across the Kansas City area” – hoping for her daughter’s safe return.
“I’m numb. I can’t think,” Jamie said. “But right now I have positive news that my daughter wasn’t in the car when they found it. And that’s what’s going to keep me going right now. There’s hope.”
Kylr Yust was arrested 4 beating his pregnant lover & killing kittens. Kara was missing then & now Jessica is gone pic.twitter.com/yW9RbsWpiq— Alonzo Washington (@kccrimefighter) September 11, 2016
Another mother, Rhonda Beckford, knows just how Jaime feels as her 17-year-old daughter, Kara Kopetsky, of Belton, – who was Yust’s ex-girlfriend – went missing May 2007 just six days after filing an order of protection against him.
Kopetsky was last seen near her school at Belton High, leaving behind her debit card which hasn’t “been touch since her disappearance.”
The teen’s mother has shut down all theories about her daughter running away from home, stating that Yust may be linked to her daughter’s disappearance.
“Kara was so young and vulnerable and, having such a young heart, she really felt like she loved him,” Beckford added.
Beckford described their relationship as “volatile” and at some point during their nine-month relationship, he allegedly choked the teen and threatened to slit her throat.
Yust was never arrested or charged in connection to Kopetsky’s disappearance.
According to Fox News, Yust has a troubled criminal past. In 2013, Yust spent three years in a federal prison after pleading “guilty to a felony drug-trafficking count.”
Just a few weeks ago, “he was ordered to spend a weekend in confinement for an unspecified probation violation.”
Yust is being held at a county jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
If anyone has information regarding Jessica’s disappearance, you are urged to contact “police at 816-234-5136 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.”
[Image via Facebook/Jessica Runions]