(RAYMORE, Mo.) — A set of human remains discovered in Missouri belonged to a missing 21-year-old woman who was last seen about six months ago, investigators said Wednesday.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said medical examiners positively identified the remains as Jessica Runions of Raymore, Missouri, who was last seen on Sept. 8, when she left a gathering in Kansas City with Kylr Yust, a friend of her boyfriend. The Kansas City Police Department notified the family shortly after it confirmed the finding, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials said her remains were found in a rural area south of Kansas City. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said investigators also found the remains of a second person in the same area, who has not been identified.
Runions’ car was discovered burned in a wooded area in Kansas City two days after she went missing.
Yust was accused of setting the car on fire and was charged with “knowingly burning” a vehicle. Yust, who has not been charged in her disappearance, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In an interview with ABC News’ 20/20 in January, Runions’ parents described her as a hardworking, loving and family-oriented woman who had always been close with her family.
Runions, who was working as a pastry chef in the restaurant at a senior living community, had recently been promoted to a manager position, her family said.
Her mother, Jamie Runions, said she was planning to attend college and pursue a degree in journalism.
The family said it had searched rural areas nearly every weekend since she went missing.
“We have started over and gone back to square one and then [we have gone] back out again and then started back at square one,” her father, John Michael Runions, told 20/20 in January. “If we’re not out on the street, we’re looking online for new areas to search tomorrow. Our entire hallway is an enormous map of the area.”
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