Family of Kayla Yarbrough shares why search took so long

O’Brien, Ore., — “It wasn’t really unheard of for us not to heard from her for a couple weeks at a time.”

20-year-old Kayla Yarbrough went missing a few months ago, but at first her family didn’t think anything of it.

“Her birthday rolled around, January 19th and we hadn’t heard from her and I think that’s when everyone started to get concerned.”

Once they realized something was wrong, they went to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office for help, only to be turned away.

“They don’t really go looking for people just because somebody thinks they’re missing. An adult is allowed to kind of fall off the face of the planet if they want to do that.”

Frustrated with the system, family members turned to Medford Police and the Oregon State Police who did get involved, and started the search for Kayla.

“It was frustrating when we had leads that weren’t always fruitful, but were hopeful she was just somewhere.”

Last Thursday, Kayla’s body was found on Lone Pine Road in O’Brien.

Raymond says she was living in the Illinois Valley around the time she disappeared, but doesn’t want to speculate about what happened to her.

“Certainly living in a small community, thing gets said, and you kinda have to take all that with a grain of salt, and let the police do their job for now.”

Instead the family is just trying to move forward.

“I think there’s always a desire to want to know what happened. I don’t know at the end of the day, it’s not gonna change anything. Kayla can’t come back, we can’t give her a hug, we can’t talk to her again.”

And remember Kayla for the woman she was.

“Kayla loved her family, she loved her sisters, she loved the outdoors, singing and dancing.”

NBC5 News Weekend anchor and reporter Nicole Stein was born and raised in Orange County, California.

She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Mass Communications. While at Arizona State, Nicole was a reporter for Cronkite News on Arizona PBS8 and interned for three local radio stations.

When she isn’t reporting, Nicole enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as dancing, reading and traveling.

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