2010: Kyron Horman disappears in the mystery of the decade
Editor's note: This story is part of the The Times' special series, "Decade in Review." This series features three stories that helped to define each year of the 2010s. These can retell single stories that captivated readers of the time, a saga that played out across many articles, and even stories that were crowded to the margins by other news at the time but have made a lasting impact on our region.
It seemed like the entire state was gripped by the drama and mystery surrounding the disappearance of a 7-year-old boy from Skyline Elementary School near Rock Creek on June 4, 2010.
Years later, the Kyron Horman case file is still open. There are plenty of theories about what happened, but Horman has never been found, and no charges have ever been filed in connection with his disappearance.
Here's how the story goes: Kyron Horman was taken to school Friday morning by his stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman. There was a science fair before school that day, and Kyron gave a presentation on the red-eyed tree frog. Moulton Horman took pictures and posted them on Facebook after she got home a few hours later. She told investigators she left the school around 8:45 a.m., and the last she saw of her stepson, he was walking to his second-grade class.
Kyron Horman never showed up for class. When the school bus came in the afternoon and Kyron wasn't on it, Terri Moulton Horman said, she called the school and was told he hadn't shown up for class and had been marked absent. The school secretary realized Kyron was missing and called 9-1-1.
Well over 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, including teams from out-of-state, participated in an 11-day search for Kyron Horman that spanned the West Hills and Sauvie Island to the north. They found no evidence of the boy or anything that shed light on his disappearance. It was as though he had vanished into thin air.
"We've exhausted our ability to search this area anymore," said Capt. Jason Gates of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
But the investigation continued, with Gates vowing that authorities would keep investigating until Kyron Horman was found. To this day, they still are.
Terri Moulton Horman quickly attracted attention as the prime suspect in her stepson's disappearance. A grand jury was empaneled in July 2010, and several of Moulton Horman's friends were subpoenaed.
There was never enough evidence collected for an indictment, although fallout from the case led to the end of Moulton Horman's strained marriage to Kyron's father, Kaine Horman. Kaine went to court to obtain a restraining order against his estranged wife, saying publicly he didn't believe she was being truthful or cooperating fully with investigators. The couple officially divorced in 2013.
More than two years after Kyron Horman's disappearance, Kyron's mother, Desiree Young, sued Terri Moulton Horman, claiming she could prove that she had kidnapped her son, but the lawsuit was dropped in 2013. Young has continued to say publicly she believes Moulton Horman was involved in Kyron's disappearance.
Moulton Horman has maintained her innocence. She has mostly kept a low profile since the disappearance, although she appeared on the daytime talk show "Dr. Phil" in 2016, saying on air she believed Kyron Horman had been kidnapped, but she had nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile, Kaine Horman and Desiree Young have never given up their search for Kyron Horman. Kaine started a nonprofit, the Kyron Horman Foundation, which organizes an annual fundraiser in August called Kyron's Car Show at Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton. Young has written a yet-to-be-released book titled "Love You Forever: The Search for Kyron Horman." Authorities are still investigating, and officially, the search is still ongoing for Kyron.
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