Missouri police charged a man on Thursday with the deaths of two women, who disappeared a decade apart from each other.
Kylr Yust, 29, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky, according to People magazine. Their remains were found near each other in Cass County, Missouri.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Runions, 21, disappeared in September 2016 after she was seen leaving a party with Yust. Yust was a friend of her boyfriend’s. Her SUV was found burned in Kansas City two days after she went missing. Police arrested and charged Yust with setting the vehicle on fire shortly after.
Kopetsky was 17 when she disappeared, and was last seen leaving her high school in May of 2007. She was involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with Yust at the time, and had just filed a restraining order against him after she alleged that he kidnapped and restrained her, then threatened to cut her throat.
Both of the women’s bodies were found in April in a remote area outside of Belton, Missouri. Mushroom hunters stumbled upon Runion’s body, and authorities uncovered Kopetsky’s the next day while canvassing the area, as CrimeOnline recently reported. Runion’s body was identified within a week, but Kopetsky’s was not positively identified until August.
Yust, who has been in custody since he was arrested in 2016 for burning Runion’s SUV, was charged with both murders on Thursday. Fox 4 reported that a Jackson County prosecutor announced Friday that they would be dropping the original charges related to the car burning in light of Cass County’s murder case against Yust. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker explained why.
“The prosecutors in Jackson and Cass have agreed that we could best pursue justice by working together on this case. My office will work with Cass County in a joint commitment to the pursuit of justice for the victims in this case.”
In a probable cause statement released on Thursday, Cass County police said Yust has confessed multiple times over the years to murdering Kopetsky, according to CBS News. He allegedly told multiple friends that he strangled her, then stared at the body for a while before putting it in a car and taking it into the woods. The statement also said he told one friend that he did it because she wanted to end their relationship.
“(The witness) stated Yost then told him the victim K.E.K. wouldn’t love him and that he was angry with her because he didn’t want her to love someone else. Yust then told (the witness) that he had just snapped, and that something bad happened to the victim.”
Others came forward saying that Yust also confessed to murdering Runions. Yust allegedly told a friend that he strangled the 21-year-old and had taken her body to the woods. The friend said he was helping Yust with burns he received on his hands after setting Runions’ SUV on fire when the 29-year-old confessed. Witnesses also told police that they saw Runions and Yust arguing – Yust was allegedly drunk and being possessive – before the two left the party Runions was last seen at.
Yust pleaded guilty in September 2011 to beating a choking his then-pregnant 18-year-old girlfriend. He allegedly told her he had killed before, and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
“I’ve killed people before, even ex-girlfriends out of sheer jealousy. I will kill you.”
Yust is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandoning a corpse. He is being held on a $1 million bond. His attorney reportedly said he plans to plead not guilty.
[Feature Photo: Kansas City Police Department]