Search for Missing Missouri Woman Discovers Two Dead Bodies — Two Weeks in a Row

Search parties led by the family of missing Missouri woman Jessica Runions have found two apparently unrelated dead bodies, two weekends in a row

Photo: Kansas City PD

Search parties led by the family of a Missouri woman who disappeared in September have found two apparently unrelated dead bodies, two weekends in a row.

The discoveries were made by friends and family of Jessica Runions, a 21-year-old who was last seen leaving a party on Sept. 8.

“It’s crazy,” Jessica’s father, John Runions, tells PEOPLE of the coincidences.

The search parties have been canvassing different areas of Kansas City, Missouri, since Jessica’s disappearance last year, John says.

“Finding the bodies just gives you a little more encouragement that you can actually find something,” Linda Runions, Jessica’s grandmother, tells PEOPLE.

The first body, belonging to 21-year-old Brandon Herring, was found on Jan. 14 by John and a relative, the Kansas City Star reports.

“It gives other families closure,” Linda says. “The first young man’s mother is feeling much better [now].”

Herring was reported missing in November and his death is being investigated as a homicide, according to the paper. (Kansas City police could not be reached for comment by PEOPLE.)

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

The following Saturday after his body was found by the Runion party, Herring’s family laid him to rest. Earlier that day, John’s fiancée and her mom found a second body while they were searching for Jessica, Fox 4 reports.

The second body, also belonging to a man, has not been identified by authorities though his death is being investigated as suspicious, according to the Star.

Linda Runions tells PEOPLE her family will not give up on looking for Jessica — no matter how long it takes.

The young woman was last seen alive in the fall leaving a girlfriend’s house party. She allegedly left the party with Kylr Yust, a friend of her boyfriend. Two days after she went missing, Yust, 28, was arrested for allegedly burning Jessica’s vehicle, which was found after she vanished, according to Kansas City police. He has pleaded not guilty.

Yust was once a suspect in the still-unsolved 2007 disappearance of his ex-girlfriend Kara Kopetsky, but he has never been charged. Yust has not been charged with Jessica’s disappearance.

Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

Yust previously pleaded guilty to domestic violence after choking and striking his then-pregnant 18-year-old girlfriend, according to a police report obtained by PEOPLE.

The victim claimed Yust told her, “I’ve killed people before, even ex-girlfriends out of sheer jealousy. I will kill you.”

Benton County Sheriffs Department

The victim also alleged Yust told her he had killed her three kittens and would kill her family if she went to police. A Kansas City judge filed an order of protection, which was later dismissed, court records state.

Yust remains behind bars in Jackson County Corrections until his trial in October on the charge in Jessica’s case, a Jackson County court official tells PEOPLE.

His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Related Articles