On June 4, 2010, the secretary of Skyline Elementary School in Portland, OR, reported 7-year-old student Kyron Horman missing. His stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, took him to school early that morning for a science fair and watched him walk off to his first class. Nevertheless, by the end of the day, he was nowhere to be found.
What started as the largest search-and-rescue operation in Oregon history quickly turned into a criminal investigation, but despite the focus largely remaining on one suspect - Kyron's stepmother - for the last 12 years, authorities have never made an arrest. As such, Kyron's case remains open, and police as well as his family hold onto hope that he will be found alive.
On June 4, 2010, 7-Year-Old Kyron Horman Attended His School’s Science Fair
Kyron Horman was the son of ex-spouses Kaine Horman and Desiree Young. Around 2003, when Young was eight months pregnant with their son, Kaine began seeing Terri Moulton Horman, who had originally met the family when she started working for them as a nanny. Young and Kaine were reportedly separated at the time but still living together; neither party has provided any further information on the matter.
When Kyron was 5 years old, Young relinquished custody of him to due her own continued health issues. Young faced kidney failure, which was allegedly caused by taking an unnamed, non-FDA-approved drug. She decided to receive treatment for her kidney failure in Canada, and during that time, Kaine gained primary guardianship over their son. When Young returned from Canada after her treatment had finished, she did not attempt to regain guardianship, and Kaine received full custody.
On the morning of June 4, 2010, in Portland, OR, Terri brought Kyron to his school earlier than usual. Kyron was a second grader at Skyline School. That day, Kyron was seen with Terri presenting his project on red tree frogs at the science fair, but he never made it to his homeroom classroom afterward.
His Stepmother Watched Him Walk To His First Class, And He Was Never Seen Again
Later, Terri said she watched Kyron walk down the hall away from her and in the direction of his classroom. If she is to be believed, this would be one of the last sightings of him. At one point, the sheriff reported another student had seen Kyron at the school after Terri left the property, but this statement was later rescinded.
Kaine and Terri didn't realize Kyron hadn't reached class until they went to pick him up from the school bus stop and he was nowhere to be found. They then called the school to see where he was and found out he had been marked absent for the day. His homeroom teacher, Kristina Porter, reportedly thought he was at a doctor's appointment or somewhere else with his parents, so she didn't raise any alarm. Just before 4 pm, the school secretary, Susan Hall, who had been in contact with Kyron’s parents, called local police and reported Kyron as a missing child. Within an hour, officers arrived at both Skyline School and Kyron’s home.
At 5:30 that evening, the Portland Public School System made a public announcement to all parents stating Kyron had not made it home that day, and around 7 pm, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office organized a formal search party. An hour later, search teams arrived at Skyline School, and a photo of Kyron was sent to local news stations as well as newspapers to spread knowledge of his case.
The Subsequent Search Was The Largest In Oregon History And Brought In Manpower From All Over The Coast
The search first began at Skyline School, where Kyron was reportedly last seen. Searchers looked in storage areas, crawl spaces, classrooms, offices, and other areas. Kyron’s house was also searched, along with a train tunnel near the school where children were known to visit on occasion. All these areas were cleared with no sign of Kyron by 11 pm that night. Early the next morning, at around 5 am, the sheriff's office called in an additional search team.
When the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue team arrived at the school, 60 to 70 people were already there. Along with searching the school and the surrounding area in a 2-mile radius, an island approximately five miles away from the school, Sauvie Island, was also searched. By noon, the Portland Public Schools District sent out an alert to Skyline School parents and staff. They requested all students who were at Skyline School on June 4 to come back on Sunday. Law enforcement wanted to debrief the students from oldest to youngest on what they had seen that day.
The sheriff's office reported at this point it was still considered a missing person case rather than a criminal investigation. Later in the afternoon and evening of June 5, both the FBI and the National Guard joined the search for Kyron. By Sunday night, the sheriff had changed Kyron’s case from simply missing to a missing endangered child case. The search for Kyron continued for 10 days until June 13, when the case was changed to a criminal investigation. This would become the largest search operation to ever take place in Oregon; it included 1,300 people from the coastal states of Oregon, Washington, and parts of Northern California.
Eventually, Police And The Public Focused On Kyron’s Stepmother
Once police changed Kyron’s case from a missing person to a criminal investigation, they immediately stated they believed Kyron was taken by someone close to him, not a random stranger. This left his surrounding family members in question - one of whom police quickly focused on.
Terri became the focus of the investigation, as law enforcement found locations from her cellphone records did not match up with where she had told police she went that day. The records showed that Terri had gone to Sauvie Island on June 4, 2010 - the same island law enforcement and other groups had searched for Kyron the day of his disappearance.
As a part of the investigation, Terri completed two polygraphs on separate occasions and failed both. After this, law enforcement searched her car but found no incriminating evidence. Kyron’s family, including his biological mother and father, have publicly stated they believe Terri played a part in their son’s disappearance. A year after Kyron disappeared, Young went to a mall in Rosenburg near where Terri was living. Young reportedly asked Terri’s neighbors to question her and stated that Terri had blamed Kyron when her marriage with his father began to fail.
In the book Boy Missing: The Search for Kyron Horman, author Rebecca Morris writes that Terri had visited a Fred Meyer store the day of June 4 and bought a bottle of cold medicine the authorities never found. Morris also stated Terri had difficulty describing to police what she had done that day, which may explain why her cell phone records didn't match her story, according to law enforcement. Reportedly, Terri was also found to have a large cut on her leg, which some find suspicious; Terri explained this by saying she dropped a weight on herself while at the gym.