As the search for Jessica Runions continues, police appear to be moving in on suspect Kylr Yust and conducted a search of his home that allegedly turned up blood and 9mm bullets.
The Kansas City woman went missing last week after leaving a party, and in the early morning hours on Saturday police found her car burned down in the southern part of town, the Kansas City Star reported. The Missouri Search and Rescue team was called to the area near where the car was found, but now, more than one week later, the search has still turned up no sign of Runions.
Authorities said Jessica Runions was last seen at a party with her boyfriend on Thursday night. But there was immediate suspicion falling on Kylr Yust, the childhood friend of Jessica’s boyfriend who was also at the party.
Family members said that Runions left the party with Yust just before her disappearance.
In the week since Runions first went missing, police have been closing in on Kylr Yust, first arresting him for burning Jessica’s car and then conducting a search of his home and his grandfather’s house that reportedly turned up a number of items.
KSHB published details of the search warrant and the items found in Yust’s home, which included two 9mm bullets as well as clothing and forensic evidence from Yust. At the home of Yust’s grandfather, police found a Q-tip and alcohol pad with blood and a blue plaid shirt, the report noted.
Police in Kansas City said they still have high hope that Jessica Runions can be found alive, noting that they have received some information that she may have been seen.
“We don’t know,” said police spokesman Officer Darin Snapp (via KSHB). “We’re getting tips that she still might be alive but then tips also in the other direction.”
Snapp said police are also focusing on Yust’s friends, hoping that he may have admitted some involvement in the disappearance of Jessica Runions.
“Because that’s usually who somebody who would commit a crime would go to to spill their guts if you will,” said Snapp.
This is not the first time that Kylr Yust has been linked to a mysterious disappearance. As the Toronto Sun noted, he has been implicated in the past disappearance of another woman, his then-girlfriend.
Police say Yust is a person of interest in the 2007 disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Kara Kopetsky, who was 17 when she vanished just days after filing for a protection order against Yust. She was last seen at her high school in Belton, south of Kansas City.
Kylr Yust has a history of making violent threats, court records show. In 2011 a woman filed a restraining order, claiming that he had threatened to kill her.
“I’ve killed people before, even ex-girlfriends out of sheer jealousy,” the victim claimed Yust had said, according to a court record obtained by KSHB. “I will kill you.”
The police report also quoted Yust as making a direct threat against the woman.
“If you scream again, I will kill you, faster than you can let another scream out of your throat,” Yust allegedly told her.
“Yust was holding the kitten in his hands,” the victim also told police. “He began to slam the kitten on the floor repeatedly.”
Family members are pleading for Runion’s safe return.
“She’s loving, caring, she helped raise her sisters. She’s strong, independent,” said her aunt, Michele Runions (via KHSB Kansas City).
Anyone with information in the disappearance of Jessica Runions is asked to call the Kansas City Police Department’s missing persons hotline at 816-234-5136, or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (816-474-8477).
[Featured Image by Kansas City Police Department]