Monday, 3 March 2014

The Disappearance of Kara Kopetsky

This teenager disappeared in May of 2007 with the finger of suspicion pointing firmly at her former boyfriend but with no evidence linking him to her disappearance, he has not been charged with any offence.  He has been jailed for drug offences afterwards.  The nightmare began for Kara`s mother Rhonda Beckford and her stepfather Jim Beckford on 4th May 2007, when 17 year old Kara went off to school in the town of Belton in Missouri.  She had asked her mother to clean her work uniform for when she came home from school, and had forgotten a book, so her mother said she would drop it in at the school.  Jim Beckford arrived home in the afternoon and Kara`s work uniform was still there.  Kara usually arrived home at around 2.30pm, but was not there.  He rang her cellphone but it went straight to email.  He phoned her workplace - Popeye`s Chicken - but she had not arrived there.  She was very punctual.  He phoned her mother and told her what was happening.  At 5pm they called the Police but they treated it as a runaway.

    The family explained that she was not a runaway, her money, clothes & Ipod were still there.  They also told them that she had a problem with her ex-boyfriend, in that he tried to abduct her but she jumped from his car and was in the process of taking out a restraining order against him.  Her family and friends searched the area extensively but there was no trace of her.  It was to take another disappearance for the Police to take events seriously.  On June 2nd, 18 year old Kelsey Smith from Overland Park, vanished. Police response was swift, simply because her father was a cop.  The disappearance of a cop`s daughter brought national media attention, which also brought the disappearance of Kara to the fore.  But it needed this to have Kara`s case taken seriously.  Four days later, the body of Kelsey was found and her killer quickly apprehended.  Edwin Hall was later convicted and jailed for life without parole.

    Cctv footage showed Kara leaving school in the morning as she sometimes skipped some lessons.  As she was 17, the school viewed her as an adult and did not feel compelled to contact her parents.  Her phone records revealed that she had received a call from her former boyfriend that lasted 20 minutes.  She was due to be in court on the 10th in regards to the restraining order she was seeking.  He has since been jailed for four years for drug offences and people who knew him told of an aggressive temper he had.  Police said that everything was circumstantial and could not arrest him without direct proof.  According to one person, this boyfriend has boasted of feeding people to pigs but was it just a boast or is there something to it?  The family and friends keep her memory alive with appeal pages on Facebook, websites, memorial walks, in the hope that one day she will be found.