Kopetsky, a missing Belton teen, turned 19 yesterday. An anonymous donor had put up $50K if she was returned home safely by that date, so one assumes that money goes away now. Happy Birthday Kara Kopetsky
Officially, Kara is a "missing person endangered."
"It means that there's some concern about her being missing, that we're concerned about her well-being," says Capt. Don Spears of the Belton Police Department. "Specifically, because we've not heard from her, nor have any of her friends or family heard from her."
The concern grew from what police saw in Kara's room, things a runaway might have taken with her. Makeup. Clothes. A carton of Marlboro Lights full except for one pack. She left behind the iPod she got for Christmas and the hair straightener she used every morning.
She planned to interview at QuikTrip the day after she disappeared and had made plans with friends for the next two weekends. Money in her bank account is untouched. She left her debit card in her school locker. But Kara's cell phone, a Motorola Razr she got for her birthday, is missing. It hasn't been used since the morning of May 4. "With a kid that age," Spears said, "that's a concern that the phone's not been on."
Friends doubt that Kara ran away, but police have not ruled out the possibility. Spears says there are no suspects in Kara's disappearance; there's no evidence a crime has been committed. Because she's 17, legal age in Missouri, the police couldn't make her come home even if they found her, Spears says. If Kara wanted to vanish without a trace, he says, she could have found a Web site to tell her how. She could have bought a pay-as-you-go cell phone that can't be tracked. She could have left behind her clothes and that fresh carton of cigarettes on purpose. "It complicates the matter and adds to the frustration," Spears says. "Hopefully we can keep her face out in front of the public."
And yet, her dad worries about the attention. "You kind of go back and forth," Mike Kopetsky says. "If she is trying to come back home, are we putting so much attention on this that she's scared to? All these different possibilities go through your head, and you don't know the right answer. We're all just frustrated … that nobody has said anything yet. Somebody at some point has to say something. What could she be so angry about in her life to where she would have no contact with any family or friends?"
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3/20/08 Statement - The Belton Star-Herald published an article on this date with outdated information regarding the community-collected funds. The article states "up to $20,000" offered by the family of Kara. The reward of $25,000 that the Bank of Belton holds, still stands and will continue to grow with the continued support of the area communities and the work of the Find Kara Committee, Helpers, Family & Friends. This website will continue to be updated by the Find Kara Committee with information about upcoming events to raise funds or awareness for Kara Kopetsky. We appreciate the continued support of our efforts to help the family find Kara.
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