Kyron Horman 7, Missing From School
FBI, National Guard Search for Missing Boy Kyron Harmon
7-Year-Old Disappeared From School, Last Seen Friday Morning
By DEAN SCHABNER
June 5, 2010
Kyron Horman, a 7-year-old Portland, Ore., boy disappeared Friday, June 4, 2010, at Skyline Elementary School, shortly after leaving an early morning science fair, where he presented his project on tree frogs.
(Courtesy the Horman family)
The FBI and National Guard have been called in to join the search for a 7-year-old Portland, Ore., boy who disappeared from his elementary school after being last seen Friday morning.
Kyron Harmon went to Skyline Elementary School early Friday morning with his step-mother, Terri Moulton Kaine, to participate in a science fair, but no one saw him after she left him, walking down a hallway to his classroom at around 8:45 a.m..
When Kyron did not return home on his school bus as scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Friday June 4, his family called to report that he had not returned home.
The Multnomah County Sherriff's Office was contacted at approximately 4 p.m.
"We definitely got a late start here," sheriff's office spokeswoman Lt. Mary Lindstrand said today. "The family didn't know that he wasn't at school, his teacher didn't see him so we are feeling like we are behind the eight-ball here."
Staff at the school said they never saw Kyron after the science fair, and he did not make it to his classroom.
Multnomah County called in the Search and Rescue team to begin their search of the area surrounding the school. As the evening progressed, SearchOne Canine Inc. and officer from the Portland Police Department also joined the search.
The sheriff's office decided to upgrade the search to a Major Crimes Team investigation, which allowed it to deploy more resources, which included resources from Portland Police Bureau, Gresham Police Department, Fairview Police Department, Oregon State Patrol and the FBI.
Search and Rescue resources also expanded to include Mountain Rescue, Yamhill County Canine, along with additional members of the Multnomah County Search and Rescue team and the Portland police air unit.
The search continued through the the night, covering more than 20 miles of roadway and two square miles.
The search resumed today at approximately 7 a.m., and the sherriff's office brought in more support, including search and rescue resources from Washington County Sherriff's Office, Yamhill County Sherriff's Office, Clark County Washington, Pacific NW Search and Rescue, and a National Guard helicopter.
"We look for them with due diligence to try and find him, this is devastating for the family or anyone who knows him," Lindstrand said. "We just want to find him and get him home safe."
The search has been made difficult by the high grasses on the property surrounding the school.
"If they're not calling out to you, unless you basically step right over them you're going to miss them," a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman said today.
Gina Zimmerman, president of the school PTA, told the Portland Oregonian today that her 8-year-old daughter Madi has been a classmate of Kyron's for three years.
"He's not the type of child who would just go out of school and go searching or wandering around," Zimmerman said. "He's just a timid, sweet boy.
"Everybody's just worried and in shock that this could happen in our little school where everybody knows everybody," she said.
She said the K-8 school has about 300 students. The principal, Ben Keefer, declined to comment Saturday. Zimmerman told the newspaper that most of the parents and students of the K-8 school, which has about 300 students, arrived at the school shortly after 8 a.m. Friday for the end-of-year science fair.
She said Terri Korman took a photograph of Kyron in front of his project, which her daughter Madi said was on the red-eye tree frog.
"We always play on the swings together," Madi told the Oregonian. "I'm thinking my thoughts for him. I'm very worried."
Anyone with information regarding Kyron Horman's whereabouts is asked to call the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office tip line 503 261-2847.
Details emerge about the day Kyron Horman turned up missing
By Lynne Terry, The Oregonian
June 05, 2010, 11:21PM
Friday began as a special day for 7-year-old Kyron Horman. His school in Northwest Portland was having a science fair and he was keen to show off his project to his stepmother.
So, instead of taking the bus near his home off Cornelius Pass Road as usual, he hopped into the car with his stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, who drove him to Skyline Elementary School.
They arrived sometime after the school opened about 8 a.m., went to his classroom, dropped off his coat and backpack and he showed his stepmother his exhibit, "The Red-Eyed Tree Frog."
Horman, who has raised Kyron since he was an infant, snapped a picture of him standing in front of it that she later posted on her Facebook page. It shows a bespectacled and beaming short-haired boy wearing a blue "CSI" T-shirt in front of an exhibit with photos of bug-eyed frogs, an anatomical drawing of the creature and other artwork.
"He was so excited about his science project," said Carol Moulton, Horman's mother and Kyron's grandmother. "They had worked on it together. He was anxious to take it to school and show it off."
After that, the two looked at other projects set up on desks in classrooms. There are about 300 students at Skyline Elementary, and all of them were invited to contribute to the fair.
Although the school usually opens at 8:35 a.m. and the final bell rings 10 minutes later, the school opened as early as 8 Friday for the science fair, said Matt Shelby, spokesman for Portland Public Schools.
Other students and parents showed up early as well to check out the fair, and Terri and Kyron saw people they knew while looking at the exhibits, Carol Moulton said.
Terri often volunteers at the school, working closely with Kyron's teacher, Kristina Porter. Shelby said that Porter saw Kyron in her classroom with his stepmom before 8:45 a.m. and another instructor reported seeing him in another classroom at some point.
At 8:45 a.m. when the bell rang, Terri walked her stepson down the hall close to his class.
"He told her, 'I'm going back to the classroom, Mom,' and she waves to him and left," Carol Moulton said. "She thought he was safely at school just like he is everyday."
What happened to the boy who went missing is unclear.
Carol Moulton said the kids were supposed to report to their classes and be divided into small groups of a few students each. Each group was supposed to tour the science fair with a chaperone. Afterward, when they returned to their classes for roll call, Kyron wasn't there, she said.
After leaving the school, Terri went about her day, running errands and taking care of household chores. She is a former elementary school teacher and has worked as a substitute teacher at various schools, but Moulton said that in recent years she has mainly been a stay-at-home mom.
Kyron's father, Kaine Horman, works at Intel's main administrative facility in Oregon, the Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro, the company said.
Kyron's biological mother, Desiree Horman, and his father were officially divorced in February 2003, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.
Carol Moulton said that Kaine, 36, and Terri, 40, have been together for seven or eight years and that they have been married for four or five years. The couple have an 18-month-old girl.
"Terri has raised Kyron," her mother said. "She's been with him since he was an infant. She's as much of a mom as the mom is because the parents had separated about the time that Kyron was born."
She said he visits his biological mother in Medford every couple of weeks and that Desiree, 38, came to Portland as soon as she heard about his disappearance.
Kyron was supposed to take the bus home Friday, so Terri went to the bus stop at 3:30 p.m. to pick him up.
But the bus driver told her he wasn't there.
Panicked, she ran home and called the school to discover that he had been marked absent for the day.
She called 9-1-1, setting off a search that's drawn in a swarm of officers and several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
Officers, working with sniffer dogs, have combed the hilly, wooded area around Skyline Elementary.
Moulton doubts Kyron wandered off on his own. It's just not in his character, she said.
"He's a little bit dreamy. He's a sweet kid. He gets distracted. He's your typical second-grader," she said.
But he's no Huckleberry Finn.
"He's not real adventurous," she said. "He's a little timid. But if a friend wanted to go outside and look at something, he would follow the friend. He has a friend who he regularly gets in trouble with in the classroom because he talks too much."
Moulton said Kyron will not even venture far from his home in a wooded area.
"He won't get out of sight of the house," she said. "He's pretty insecure about that. So I can't see him wandering off."
His disappearance is devastating for the close-knit family, which plays board games together, goes bowling and enjoys visits to the Oregon Zoo. A few years ago, the family took a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Terri also has a 16-year-old son from a former marriage who has lived with her mom and dad for the past few months in Roseburg. The teen's father also lives in the area and the two are on a Boy Scout camping trip this weekend.
It will be difficult to give him the news, Moulton said.
"It's a total mystery," she said. "He just vanished. I just can't believe it."
More Tips Needed In Search For Kyron Horman
Portland Second-Grader Missing Since Friday Morning
POSTED: 6:50 am PDT June 7, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Investigators looking for 7-year-old Kyron Horman released few details about his disappearance but pleaded for more tips from the public on the fourth day of the search effort.
Multnomah County Capt. Jason Gates said investigators sifted through the majority of the 1,200 leads collected from a tip line set up by the sheriff's office. New tips are steadily coming in, Gates said, and span Oregon and Washington.
"We're following up on each and every one," Gates said. "Every tip, no matter how insignificant, could be the tip we need … the tips will find Kyron."
More than 22 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have joined the search effort. During an afternoon news conference, Gates said search and rescue crews continued to scour new locations and investigators interviewed families and school workers.
"I feel that we're closer today based on the fact that we're getting leads that we're following up on," Gates said.
Gates said the last time Kyron was seen was at 9 a.m. Friday at Skyline Elementary School, but there have also been reports that a classmate saw Kyron in what Sheriff Dan Staton said was the "late-morning hours."
He would comment on who last saw Kyron.
Gates was visibly emotional when he relayed a message during a news conference Monday morning.
"Kyron, we're going to bring you home, buddy," Gates said. "Nothing is more important to your family, your friends and to us. All the personnel we have here is working around the clock since Friday ... we are not going to stop."
Portland Public Schools spokesman Matthew Shelby said district officials are trying to create a "semblance" of a normal day for Skyline students. Forty-five students were absent Monday -- which is higher than normal -- but Shelby said "a lot are choosing to be here."
Counselors and a "safe room" were made available to students and school workers. Substitute teachers were also on hand to support faculty.
Shelby was tight-lipped about the investigation, but said Skyline does not have surveillance video cameras.
Kyron attended a school science fair with his stepmother the morning he disappeared. Shelby said the school normally requires visitors and guests to sign in and wear a visitor badge, but did not comment if that was the case Friday morning.
Authorities released more pictures of the boy Monday, including images of his artwork.
The FBI called in its child abduction rapid deployment team Sunday as the search teams scoured the area between Kyron's school and his home.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students, parents and school staff were interviewed by detectives in an effort to fill every gap of the timeline on the day he disappeared.
"Given the passage of time and the weather, we are characterizing this case as a missing endangered child," Staton said.
FBI agents were stopping cars outside the school and asking drivers if they may have any information about the second-grader's disappearance.
Kyron and his stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, attended the school science fair Friday morning and a photo released to media showed Kyron smiling in front of his project about a red-eyed tree frog. Deputies said she watched him walk off toward his classroom.
Moulton Horman only became aware of her son's disappearance when Kyron did not turn up at his school bus stop near his house at 3:45 p.m. that day. She called the school, which in turn searched the grounds and then called the non-emergency dispatch line to report Kyron as missing.
"It's strange how the child just seems to have simply vanished," said Jim
Kelley, who lives near the school. "It's a parent's worst nightmare. It's unthinkable."
The superintendent of Portland Public Schools did not release any information about whether Kyron was marked absent at school or whether his absence was reported to family that day, but the second-grade student's disappearance has already sparked changes in school district policy.
All elementary schools in the school district will begin use of the automated attendance call system so that "families will be notified of any unexcused absence during the day the absence is recorded," said Superintendent Carole Smith.
It will take about one week for the system to be implemented at the schools, including Skyline, and, in the meantime, staff will manually make the calls.
Shelby said the district is also looking at a better way to manage semi-public events, such as school science fairs.
Kyron lives a few miles away from the school with his father, Kaine Horman, stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister.
The sheriff's office has kept in close contact with Kyron's family, who have yet to comment to media. Gates said the family will speak publicly when they think it'll be "useful to the case."
The first reference of Kyron's disappearance on Moulton Horman's Facebook page came Saturday at 10:16 a.m., when she posted, "Please don't listen to the news. It is inaccurate. We will give details as soon as we can. Thank you all for your well wishes. There are a lot of people looking."
Kyron was described by the president of the PTA as a "timid, sweet boy."
"He's not the kind of child that would just go out of school, go searching or wandering around," said Gina Zimmerman, the president of the PTA.
Authorities asked people who live nearby the school to search their property again for any clues about the disappearance.
Skyline School is located at 11536 NW Skyline Blvd. in a rural area of northwest Portland.
Anyone who may have any information on Kyron’s whereabouts is asked to call 503-261-2847. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the CSI logo on it and dark cargo pants. He is 3 feet 8 inches tall and 50 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Search & rescue crews restart search for missing Kyron Horman
By Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian
June 07, 2010, 4:59PM
Eighteen certified search and rescue volunteers resumed searching the area near Skyline School this morning, looking for signs of missing second-grader Kyron Horman, even as deputies canvassed the neighborhood, handing out fliers and jotting down license plate numbers of passing vehicles.
Some 72 hours after Kyron was last seen, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office incident commander, Capt. Jason Gates, said the effort to find the boy was personal.
"Kyron, we're gonna bring you home, buddy, nothing is more important to your family, your friends and us," Gates said, choking back a sob. "I'm a parent and we're all tired, but we're staying -- as long as it takes."
Seven-year-old Kyron was last seen inside Skyline School at 9 a.m. morning Friday, a busy day at the rural K-8 school thanks to a morning science fair and afternoon talent show. An intensive search and investigation into his disappearance were launched that afternoon and extended through the weekend.
Kelly Ramirez, the sister of Kyron's mother, Desiree Horman, issued a statement today on behalf of the family thanking the community for their concern and support.
"The incredible support we have received is overwhelming. To the numerous agencies, search and rescue teams and the community there are no words to express the gratitude we feel. You have worked tirelessly on Kyron’s behalf and continue to do so. At this point the most important thing is to get his picture out there. We encourage everyone if you would like to help this is what you can do. Print out his flyer, put it on the counter of every business you go into. Kyron needs to be seen. Above all do not give up hope, as we certainly never will. He is out there and we are going to find him and bring him home safe where he belongs."
She said her sister is struggling to keep positive. "There's no words. It's unfathomable," she said. "You just try to keep positive. We firmly believe that he will be found. We trust in the system. We know that everything humanly possible is being done."
Authorities stopped motorists on Northwest Skyline Boulevard this morning as school resumed, asking drivers whether they'd been on the road Friday. Meanwhile, students cavorted in the playground during recess, while the national media descended on the normally quiet rural community.
Inside the long red brick building, Portland Public Schools spokesman Matt Shelby said mental health counselors and substitute teachers were available to help kids and staffers cope with the mystery. Twice as many students stayed home as usual, Shelby said, 45 compared to the typical 20 absentees.
Skyline is one of the smallest schools in Portland's school district and one of only a handful with fewer than 40 second-graders. Skyline's official enrollment this year was listed at slightly fewer than 300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, including 37 second-graders.
At a noon news conference, Shelby said an auto-dial system used to deter truancy in high schools, wasn't in use Friday at about 20 district schools, including Skyline. But after Kyron's disappearance, the schools will begin using the dialer to alert parents to absentee students.
"We have custody issues from time to time... to have a student missing for this amount of time is unprecedented."
On Sunday, hours agents and officers interviewed parents and students who attended a science fair and talent show on Friday, searchers worked into the night. They faced challenging terrain and steady rain, which complicated the effort and quickly wore out searchers, said Sgt. Diana Olsen, coordinator of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue operation.
“We lost searchers real quickly yesterday," she said. "They got cold and wet and went home early.”
Olsen said searchers on Sunday were not able to complete the 2-mile area from Skyline to Kyron’s home and hope to do that today.
She said searchers today will focus on an area known as wood mill by Cornelius Pass and Northwest Sheltered Nook Road.
“Yesterday they were in the thick blackberries,” Olsen said. “They spent seven hours in there and only did a third of it.”
She said so far searchers have focused on what’s considered “high probability” areas – areas that search tables show a 7-year-old is likely to go if he or she has wandered off on his or her own.
After today, searchers hope to have covered all of those areas, Olsen said.
She said in addition to those areas, searchers also have responded to requests from Kyron’s father, Kaine, about areas where the boy may be, including a horse pasture in Banks, which was searched Sunday.
Olsen said ground search efforts will be reassessed later today after the FBI looks at a map of the region.
"The case here is unique," added Arthur Balizan, FBI Special Agent in Charge. "The media has to keep the message out there. We need the public's eyes out there. Keep looking for Kyron."
Meanwhile, Gates said law enforcement personnel have collected 1,200 tips on the case so far and asked witnesses to come forward with additional helpful information. Tips can be directed to 503-261-2847.
Police Give Subtle Clues in Kyron Horman Disappearance
Posted by Jmartens on Jun 8th, 2010
Tuesday marks the 5th day that Kyron Horman has been missing and the latest news has provided no new information to curious Oregonians praying for his return. But that doesn’t mean that police haven’t learned more and more every day and it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t know what might have happened to Kyron.
The Multnomah County Sheriffs Office has held twice daily news breifings and have had few details for those listening. Reading between the lines, however, can tell us a lot.
First, the principal of Skyline, speaking along the police, classified the search as a criminal investigation. This likely means they have ruled out the idea that Kyron walked away from the school on his own. Authorities know something that tells them Kyron was forced to leave Skyline Elementary.
The FBI was called in very early on in the investigation. The have since posted an alert at FBI.gov to warn Americans that Kyron is in danger. The FBI has also brought in a profiler, along the likes of the popular TV show Criminal Minds. Not something you’d expect the FBI to do if they believed that Kyron was simply missing in the woods or taken by a family member.
Additionally, it is well known that that Kyron’s step mother dropped him off at school at 8:30am on Friday. She has told police that the last time she saw the 7 year old is when she left at 8:45am. Now, police have communicated that someone saw Kyron at 9am but they refuse to say who saw him, where at and what the circumstances where. The 9am event and mystery witness may hold the key to what happened to Kyron that fateful morning.
Finally, in the Tuesday noon press briefing by the Multnomah County Sheriffs office, Cpt Jason Gates refused to answer key questions from reporters. These questions included “is there any indication that a stranger was inside Skyline Elementary on Friday morning” and “Are searchers now focusing on specific search areas now rather than all the area around Skyline Elementary?” His standard response was to say that he could not give out those details. Does this mean there are details to give out?
So what have authorities learned over the past 5 days of investigation? It seems they have learned enough to eliminate the idea that Kyron left on his own, enough to focus on specific geographic areas in their search and enough to avoid questions about the presence of a stranger inside Skyline Elementary school on Friday morning, June 4th.
This is good news in way, it means that law enforcement is doing their job and getting closer to finding Kyron.
Kyron Horman case is a good reminder to hug our children, even as they may frustrate us
By Anna Griffin, The Oregonian
June 08, 2010, 5:00PM
The best two moments in my week, every week, are Friday night and Monday morning.
On Friday night, I escape work and return home to my children. On Monday morning, I escape my children and return home to work.
We structure our lives around our children, particularly when those children are active 7-year-old boys. While searchers combed the West Hills this weekend looking for Kyron Horman, my spouse and I ferried our first-grader to a cross-country meet, a baseball game, the library and a friend's house. He is, like many his age, as much monkey as man, as likely to head butt his friends in greeting as say, "Hello." We spend our days ordering him to wash his hands and pick up his clothes, gritting our teeth at his forgetfulness and stubbornness, losing our minds at the mess, the mayhem and the lack of "me" time that is an unavoidable part of parenting.
I complain about him, if only to myself, almost as often as I gush about his superhero ability to shimmy to the top of a street sign or his burning ambition to master multiplication tables. I complain because, in my heart of hearts, I do not believe this is a world where little boys just disappear. Strangers do not walk into schools and snatch children from science fairs. There's no such thing as true evil, just flawed, usually exhausted, often mentally ill people who perform stupid, cruel and occasionally unthinkable acts. When you think that way, it's easy to take the ultimate blessings in your life for granted.
Kyron vanished from Skyline Elementary School five days ago, moments after his stepmother took a picture of him posing beside his science project on red-eyed tree frogs. He wore a proud, goofy grin and a CSI T-shirt that feels like sick irony now. Despite more than 1,200 tips and hundreds of hours, investigators have given us no details about who saw Kyron last and no sign that they've found even the first trace of him. We're stuck with a lot of nothing, with the kind of frustration that prompts even big, tough sheriff's deputies to cry.
As a journalist, my instinct is to search the details for meaning and greater truth. Would tighter security have kept him on school grounds? Should the FBI have become involved sooner? Why aren't Kyron's father and stepmom in front of every TV camera they can find, pleading and demanding his safe return? Are investigators cagey or clueless?
As a parent, my instinct is to turn away from tales of lost children. These cases always seem to boil down to the unfathomable, a predator of one kind or another, or the unspeakable, a family member. No deeper lessons there, besides the realization that our world is a far darker place than most of us care to imagine.
But there is meaning in this awful interlude between losing Kyron and finding him, even if it's the kind of theme that would seem hackneyed or melodramatic in more hopeful times. Regardless of how this ends, with a happy reunion or an alternative too unpleasant to articulate, there is one thing the rest of us can take away.
Hug your babies, even if they squirm at the affection. Appreciate them, even if they roll their eyes when you express your love. Savor the noise and clutter and absolute chaos. Consider it a different kind of prayer for Kyron's safe return.
Investigator on Ore. Boy Kyron Horman Missing: "Seems Strange"
News by Mark Berman Opposing Views
As the search for missing Kyron Horman stretches into another day, two top Portland private investigators say they don't think a stranger played a role in his disappearance.
Kyron, 7, was last seen by his stepmother walking towards his classroom following a science fair at his school on Friday morning. When he didn't arrive home on the school bus, his parents learned he wasn't in class all day.
Criminal profiler Dr. Ron Turco said, "Something doesn't fit. He was an intelligent boy and was very proud of what he did at school.
"You have to hypothesize that he went with someone he knew. A family member or someone associated with the family, " said Dr. Turco.
Investigator and former Portland Police Detective CW Jensen echoes that.
"To me, it seems strange."
It should be noted that neither Turco nor Jensen are involved in Kyron's case -- they are only speculating based on their years of experience.
Meanwhile, detectives are keeping relatively quiet about their investigation, only saying that Kyron is an "endangered missing child."
Kyron Horman search expands with hundreds of helpers from throughout Oregon
Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010
The search for missing second-grader Kyron Horman moved into "an expanded operation" today as hundreds of helpers from throughout the state started to converge on Multnomah County, Sheriff Dan Staton said this afternoon.
Staton requested help from sheriff's of all other counties in Oregon.
"All of the 35 have responded," he said. "They're working on organizing their resources. We've utilized ours to search the area that a man could travel. We've reached that phase where we need to expand the search farther out."
Search-and-rescue crew members will stay at the county's mothballed Wapato Jail and hit the ground Thursday to scour the terrain around Skyline School and other areas, officials said. Aircraft also will be brought back in to help in the hunt.
"The clock is ticking on this search," said Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger, who is helping coordinate the bigger operation.
Kyron disappeared Friday from Skyline, a K-8 school in Northwest Portland. Multnomah County has led the search since then with help from several nearby counties and investigation assistance from the FBI.
The big push with the statewide contingent will begin Thursday, authorities said. Asked why it didn't happen earlier, Multnomah County sheriff's Capt. Jason Gates said: "This is the natural progression for resources."
Earlier today, Kyron's family implored the Portland metro community to keep looking for the 7-year-old boy.
In a statement issued at the Brooks Hill Histroic Church, the family urged people to search their property, their outbuildings, sheds, anything they can think of to help find Kyron.
The family didn't appear in public to make the plea. They want to keep the focus on Kyron, said Multnomah County sheriff's Capt. Mike Shults.
"They know that it's very important to keep the objective on Kyron and him, not on them," said Shults, who has been with the family since the second-grader went missing.
As the operation reached its sixth day today, investigators said they couldn't say how many people were searching now or where they were looking.
Still, search and rescue teams, including some K-9 units, could be seen along the roads surrounding the school this morning.
In addition to implementing the statewide plan, the FBI has begun to set up a new mobile command post near Skyline School that offers investigators additional resources, including high-speed Internet and more workspace for a larger staff of investigators.
"We are fully utilizing every resource that's available to us, many I didn't even know were available," Gates said, and added that he appreciated the extra resources coming to Multnomah County.
"It will be a huge benefit to keeping our machine running forward to finding Kyron."
Kyron vanished at 9 a.m. Friday from Skyline after he and his stepmother went to school early to tour a science fair where the boy had a project.
His stepmother said she last saw him walking to his classroom before she left. One other person is believed to have seen Kyron at the school at 9 a.m. but authorities haven't said who or where.
His stepmother said she last saw him walking to his classroom before she left. One other person is believed to have seen Kyron at the school at 9 a.m. but authorities haven't said who or where.
Gates adamantly denied that authorities had issued a search warrant for the Hormans' house in response to a question at a noon news conference. He declined to answer questions about whether there was any evidence turned over to a magistrate.
Shults, who read the Hormans' statement, said he has been with the family continuously, going home only to sleep.
"I stand here in front of you today because I carry the burden of the sadness and the pain that they're experiencing," he said. "And it's a very, very sad situation for them."
Gates said investigators are not deterred by the time that has lapsed since Kyron went missing. They are, however, frustrated.
"We want to find Kyron and we want to get him home. That is our total focus. The longer that that takes -- it's frustrating," he said. "But like I said, we are focused on that mission. We can't concentrate too much on how long it's taking, we have to concentrate on doing our job."
"But yeah, I'm certainly frustrated."
Missing child a wake-up call for local officials
Clark County reacts to Portland case
By Howard Buck
Columbian staff writer
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The numbing disappearance of Portland second-grader Kyron Horman on Friday no doubt sent a shudder through many Clark County school parents.
It also set off alarm bells for the area’s school safety officers.
Thankfully, the county’s largest three school districts already have security measures in place to thwart a possible repeat of whatever transpired at Skyline School, tucked into the hills west of Portland.
Safety officers reached on Tuesday say they’ve reviewed campus procedures and issued staff reminders, just in case. And leaders of two Battle Ground primary schools are pursuing one important policy change.
“That’s a very scary scenario for any school district,” said Scott Deutsch, safety and risk manager for Evergreen Public Schools. “My heart goes out to that family, and that school.”
Automated locking doors; surveillance cameras; prompt telephone calls to alert parents to pupil no-shows: The small, rural Skyline School lacked these modern amenities, Portland school officials said.
In contrast, here’s a rundown of what Evergreen, Vancouver and Battle Ground districts have in place to help protect school students:
• Main entry: All Vancouver and most Evergreen and Battle Ground schools have highly controlled front-door entry. In nearly all cases, locked doors funnel any visitors directly into the main office, where they must sign in (and out) and obtain guest badges.
• Video cameras: Vancouver has almost 450 surveillance cameras aimed at its 33 schools. Battle Ground also has cameras at all schools, but will use federal stimulus-backed bonds to beef up the system within two years, starting in August.
All Evergreen high schools and most middle schools have cameras. Only Endeavour Elementary and two other grade schools (their cost paid by parent-teacher groups) are now equipped, however.
• Student absence phone calls: In all Vancouver district elementary schools, automated telephone calls go to each child’s primary family contact about 45 minutes following the start of the school day. Evergreen elementary school secretaries are to make personal calls, by about 10 a.m.
In Vancouver and Evergreen middle and high schools, automated calls for absences go out about 4:45 p.m. (Vancouver) and 6 p.m., respectively.
Currently in Battle Ground, automated absence calls go to district families, regardless of grade level, at about 6 p.m. (An exception is Glenwood Heights Primary School, which also makes calls about 10:30 a.m., said Principal Eric Hoglund.)
That soon might change: The leader of Daybreak Primary School had already pressed for midmorning calls, now joined by the Tukes Valley Primary School principal, said Gregg Herrington, district spokesman.
There may be technical issues to slow a districtwide change, Herrington cautioned: “Right now, it’s a work in progress,” he said.
Telephone protocols have grabbed much attention in Kyron’s case, since no word of the 7-year-old’s absence came until he failed to meet his stepmother after his bus ride home, nearly seven hours after she dropped him off inside the school.
Overall, Vancouver, Evergreen and Battle Ground school leaders say their campus security is sound. School workers monitor exterior doors, keep watch on visitors and closely supervise recess time and the arrival and departure of young students each day.
At school assemblies or gatherings with many adults present, teachers typically lead students to and from class, separate from the visitors.
That doesn’t mean officials aren’t double-checking this week.
“We went back and reviewed what we do, and we feel pretty confident we’re in good shape,” said Mick Hoffman, Vancouver district safety director. Staff are reminded to watch for visitor I.D. badges, a message stressed this week for those who will work summer school sessions due to begin later this month, he said.
“It’s on my radar screen,” said Deutsch, of Evergreen. He’s reminded workers who move often between schools they must sign in and out each time, he said.
But comfort only goes so deep.
“The whole thing about Kyron Horman has got every principal, at all levels, thinking and reviewing our school plans,” said Hoglund, the Glenwood Heights leader. “No one wants to see a student go missing and it shakes us to the bone.”
Classmate: 'I Hope My Best Friend Comes Back'
Kyron Horman Last Seen Friday Morning
POSTED: 7:06 am PDT June 9, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A statement from the parents of a missing 7-year-old boy is expected to come sometime Wednesday as investigators wrap up the final interviews of parents, students and staff at Skyline School.
Second-grader Kyron Horman disappeared from his rural northwest Portland school Friday.
Multnomah County Sheriff's Capt. Jason Gates said Kyron's stepmother brought him to school for a school science fair and last saw Kyron near his classroom at about 8:45 a.m.
Tanner Pumala, Kyron's classmate, said he last saw his friend at about the same time when Kyron told him he was headed to look at another student's science project.
"He walked by the hallway and I'm like, 'Hi, Kyron,' and he's like, 'Hi. I'm going to go see this cool one. It's electric.' I'm like, 'Alright, bye.' And that's the last time I saw him," Tanner said. "He never did make it back to class."
As the search for Kyron enters its sixth day, Tanner said his friend's disappearance is all he can think about.
"I'm feeling really sad. For the last five days, I haven't gotten much sleep," he said. "I'm hoping that my best friend will come back."
Classes at Skyline School continued as scheduled Tuesday. Tanner said he and fellow students have spent time in class writing letters to Kyron and piling them on his desk.
"If we ever do find him, it's going to be hard for him to go on the bus with all of his stuff," Tanner said. "He has a pile of stuff with a great, big teddy bear."
Crews combed miles of land in northwest Portland and beyond Tuesday. When asked if Kyron could still be alive five days after he vanished, Gates said it's a possibility.
"Stranger things have happened," he said. Kyron lives near Skyline School with his father, stepmother, stepsister and stepbrother. His biological mother, Desiree Horman, lives in Medford, but is in Portland to help with the search. "I'm really concentrating on finding Kyron,
" she said when reached for comment over the phone. "We're just trying to get his face out there and finding him is our top priority." While Kyron has been missing for five days, authorities have not said what they believe happened to him. However, Gates said in a news conference that the case is an isolated incident and other children are not at risk.
The sheriff's office has planned a news conference for noon Wednesday. FOX 12 and KPTV.com will carry the news conference live.
FOX 12 OREGON
Kyron Horman: The view from across the street
Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 7:00 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 11:12 AM
By Cindy Banks
After I got home from work last Friday, there was a knock on the door. My first thought was "pizza night!" But it wasn't a neighbor. It was two police officers and the principal from across the street.
"We are missing a little guy," they said. Have you seen anything?"
We searched the building. Nothing. Later that night, the news vans started to arrive.
My neighbors are devastated. This area is very much like a small town, even as close as it is to Portland. There is something about living here that melts the indifference toward others. We read the comments in the media that point fingers at some imagined lack of attention to safety, and we are stunned.
We don't live in fear. We know our neighbors. We know the school, and we look out for each other. I've only lived here for a few years, but when my dog got sick, neighbors showed up every single day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to help me move him. When my mother died, flowers and food appeared on my counters from people I've never met.
We live in a society that is poisoned by blame and fear. A situation like this calls for compassion, support and action – not eviscerating a competent staff at a wonderful school.
A reporter from The Oregonian complained to me that she couldn't get any of the parents to talk to her. The sadness is overwhelming, and no one wants to interfere with the investigation. But everyone that I have talked to in my neighborhood is furious and hurt at the unfair comments that are being made about the school. So I convinced a very shy neighbor to grant an interview. The agreement was that the story would talk about what it was like to be a parent at Skyline. She gave an hour interview about the extraordinary and caring staff, how it feels as safe as her living room, how the principal knows every child by name. She gave examples of how they are safety conscious. When the story was published, the paper primarily used a comment about which exits are supervised or unsupervised. That's the other reason why people aren't talking very much.
Another neighbor stopped by last night to talk. She can't sleep. There are those of us who don't have kids -- we are the ones who call them "ankle biters" and make the milk carton jokes -- and yet she can't sleep. She wakes up feeling sick about a little boy she doesn't even know.
Every day I see the officers working the case. They are deeply caring, exhausted, sad. But they still show up every day. Some of them are there without pay. They answer even the rudest questions with patience. They comfort people. They offer their phone numbers. The search-and-rescue people slog through mud, brave the rain and the blackberry thorns, climb steep ravines. People from the press talk about their own kids and bite their lips. Every day I drive up my street and see the white satellite towers above my roofline and think about what that means. And I wish that I could come around the corner and see them being lowered and everyone relieved.
We are extremely lucky to live in a place where people stay up all night because one of us is lost.
Kyron Horman: Timeline of events since boy's disappearance
Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 1:10 PM Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 4:45 PM
Kyron Horman went missing Friday, June 4.
The following is a timeline of events. The Oregonian's reporters and editors will adjust this account over time to add and adjust information.
Searchers have declined to provide some details of the investigation, including when school officials marked Kyron Horman absent on June 4. Here's a basic look at what happened on the day the second-grader disappeared from Skyline School and the following days:
Friday, June 4
8 a.m. Skyline Elementary, 11536 N.W. Skyline Blvd., opens early so students and parents can tour the science fair. A billboard outside reads: "June 4, I.B. Inquiry Expo, 8-10, Talent show, 1-2:45." Kyron was to take part in both the expo/science fair and the talent show.
Terri Moulton Horman arrives shortly afterward with her stepson, Kyron.
8:15 a.m. Gina Zimmerman, president of the school PTA, arrives and sees Kyron with his stepmother in front of his exhibit.
8:45 a.m. Terri Horman leaves after watching Kyron walk toward his classroom after touring the science fair.
9 a.m. Someone reports seeing Kyron at the school, but investigators won't say who or where. It's the last time anyone remembers seeing the boy.
10 a.m. Classes begin.
At some point, Kyron's homeroom teacher, Kristina Porter, reports him absent.
1:21 p.m. Terri Horman posts photos of Kyron at the science fair on her Facebook page.
3:30 p.m. Terri Horman goes to meet the school bus and discovers that Kyron has been absent all day. She calls 9-1-1.
3:45 p.m. Search begins.
5:30 p.m. Rapid broadcast message from Portland Public Schools goes out to alert families of a missing student. The message: "Kyron Hormon did not arrive at home today." It was broadcast to the phones of parents across the school district.
7 p.m. Multnomah County sheriff's Detective Sergeant Lee Gosson alerts Sgt. Travis Gullberg, the county's on-call coordinator for search-and-rescue efforts, to the need to begin a formal missing persons search for Kyron. Later, the FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team is dispatched.
8:15 p.m. The Oregonian receives an e-mailed photo of Kyron from Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lt. Mary Lindstrand, provided by Skyline School secretary Sharon Hall.
Saturday, June 5
5 a.m. Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue receives a call from Multnomah County. When they arrived on site, there were already teams on the ground. They've had about 60 to 70 people involved in the search.
9:08 a.m. The Associated Press receives its first official notification that Kyron Hormon is missing, via an e-mail with the subject line: SHERIFF'S OFFICE CONTINUES SEARCH FOR 7 YEAR OLD KYRON HORMAN
Helpfindmychild.net, a UK-based missing child site creates a page for Kyron.
A tip line is created: 503-261-2847.
Noon: During a news conference, a sheriff's spokesman says the search for Kyron is still a missing-person case and not a criminal investigation.
The Portland Public School district uses its rapid broadcast system to alert staff and parents of Skyline School students on hand Friday to come to the K-8 on Sunday for debriefings by police and federal agents. The oldest students are advised to arrive at 10 a.m.; kindergartners and first-graders are to arrive with parents later in the day.
4 and 8 p.m.: Authorities hold two news conferences and announce that the FBI and the National Guard have joined the effort. Search-and-rescue crews complete an "immediate grid search" around the school.
10:23 p.m. Facebook page created for supporters of Kyron and his family.
Sunday, June 6
8.58 a.m. Terri Moulton Horman posts on Facebook to say she has ordered missing-person fliers: "I ordered 1000 fliers, they will be coming to our house. I will let people know when they are here and we can go from there. Thank you everyone." The FBI announces that they have brought in a Quantico, Va.-based profiler to create a profile of the boy.
9:48 a.m. The first of 300 students and their parents return to Skyline School to be interviewed by detectives. Fifty detectives are on-hand for interviews that continue until 4 p.m.
12:10 p.m. Relatives begin distributing missing person fliers with a photo of Kyron and this description: 3-feet, 8-inches tall, 50 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair. Last seen wearing black cargo pants, white socks and worn black Skechers tennis shoes with orange trim.
1:29 p.m. Neighbors stop by Brooks Hill Historic church, across the street from the school, to mull over the investigation. "This kind of thing is unheard of," says Jim Kelley, 50.
3:30 p.m. Carole Smith, superintendent of Portland Public Schools, appears at a news conference and outlines a series of immediate steps the district was taking to address security concerns in the wake of the second-grader's disappearance.
9 p.m. The Multnomah County sheriff escalates Kyron's disappearance to a missing endangered child case, but does not call it a kidnapping.
Monday, June 7
Early a.m. Eighteen certified search-and-rescue volunteers resume sweeping the area near the school as deputies canvass the neighborhood, handing out fliers and jotting down license plate numbers of passing vehicles along Northwest Skyline Boulevard.
8:30 a.m. The school district staffs a counseling hot line at 503-916-3931 to answer questions or offer help districtwide.
8:45 a.m. Classes resume at Skyline School. Counselors are on hand.
Evening: Kelly Ramirez, the sister of Kyron's birth mother, Desiree Horman, issues a statement thanking the community on behalf of the family for their concern and support.
Tuesday, June 8
Search and rescue crews resume search, checking locations identified by phone tips and investigative leads.
Noon: Authorities offer briefing. They do not accept questions.
9:25 p.m. A Facebook support group for Kyron, Missing Kyron Horman, announces the creation of a reward fund.
"We are now working on a paypal acct which will directly take your donations to the "Kyron Horman Fund" at Chase Bank. It will take Paypal a day or so to verify the acct and become active. If you prefer to wait until that time we will then place a donation button on the main homepage we have provided. We will keep you informed as to when that will be. It is our hope that this reward fund will prompt someone with the information police need to return Kyron home. I am sure the outpouring of well wishes, prayers and love sent by all of you is helping Kyron's family through this very difficult time."
Wednesday, June 9
Morning Terri Moulton Horman makes her Facebook wall private.
11 a.m. FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele says the Hormon family "is not speaking to the media because they do not believe it's in the best interest of finding Kyron."
Noon At news briefing, Multnomah County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Shults reads a statement from Kyron Horman's immediate family: "Kyron's family would like to thank people for support and interest in finding their son. The outpouring of support and continued effort strengthens their hope. We need for folks to continue to assist us in our goal. Please search your properties -- cars, out buildings, sheds, etc. Also check with neighbors and friends who may be on vacation or may need in assistance in searching. There are a lot of resources here to help you search, so please don't stop. It is obviously a difficult time and they want to speak to the public so you can hear it from Kyron's family as they come together to share their message. Their objective is to keep the focus on Kyron and not about anything else."
9:45 p.m. Portland Mountain Rescue received a call from Multnomah County Sheriff's Office to join the search.
Thursday, June 10
11:30 a.m. A Facebook support group for Kyron, Missing Kyron Horman, announces an update to the creation of a reward fund. You may now make a secure donation to the Kyron Horman Fund via Paypal. To do so visit his ChildSeek Network homepage.
Family of Missing Oregon Boy Plead for His Return
Published June 11, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. -- More than a week after 7-year-old Kyron Horman of Portland went missing, sobbingfamily members emerged on Friday to plead for his return.
Appearing beforeand reporters, the family hugged each other before the boy's father and stepfather spoke. It was the family's first public appearance since Kyron disappeared June 4 after attending a science fair at his Portland elementary school.
"People from around the nation have seen his picture," said the boy's father, Kaine Horman. "Please help us bring Kyron home."
Authorities have said little about their work but have characterized it both as a search and investigation.
The search consists of more than 200 people, some on horseback. Dogs and a National Guard helicopter also have been deployed.
Efforts have been held back at times because of constant rain and cloudy conditions in the area. The school is near the top of a hill surrounded by deep woods and several ravines.
Also at the podium were Kyron's biological mother, Desiree Young; her husband, Tony Young; and Kyron's ,Terri Moulton Horman.
"We miss you, we love you and we need you home right now," Tony Young said. "Until you come home, this family's not complete."
Tony Young thanked searchers and the community. Nearly every local business features a flier with Kyron's picture, and the family appeared Friday in T-shirts bearing his face and information.
The searchers were checking an area within a two-mile radius of the school, and Sgt. Diana Olsen of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said they were expanding that search area on Friday. She declined to elaborate.
Capt. Monte Reiser of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said community members can make donations into a fund at the Bank of America in Kyron's name. Some of the money will be used to offset the cost of the search. Reiser said search teams from Washington and California have also been dispatched to help in the search.
"Morale is high," Reiser said of the search teams, which are largely comprised of state-certified volunteers who took vacation days from work to participate. "I think we are closer (to finding him)."
Capt. Mike Shults, the sheriff's office liaison to the family, said the last eight days have been difficult.
"This has been a very difficult time for the family," Shults said. "Keep your prayers and thoughts on our little boy."
June 11, 2010 12:14 PM
Kyron Horman Missing: No Evidence of Abduction, Say Police
Posted by Naimah Jabali-Nash
PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS/KOIN) Seven days have passed since Kyron Horman did not return home from school, and, despite searches that have scoured the area surrounding Skyline Elementary School where Kyron was last seen, there is still no sign of the missing 7-year-old.
PICTURES: Kyron Horman Missing
Police have also not found evidence pointing to the idea that the Oregon second-grader was abducted, reports CNN.
Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton told CNN, "The child is still characterized as a missing child. There's just no indication on anything we've got at this point that it was an abduction."
Kyron's stepmother attended the school science fair with Kyron, and she last saw him walking down the hallway in the direction of his classroom around 8:45 a.m. on June 4. At approximately 3:45 p.m., Kyron's stepmother called 911, when Kyron did not return home on his school bus.
As the search continues, Stanton is concerned that time is running out. "We are still within our threshold limits to find this child alive, and we are making every effort to continue that," said Stanton to CNN.
According to CNN, Stanton indicated that search parties have extended past the two-and-a-half mile radius of Skyline Elementary School. Search crews are continuing to scour wells, and water run-offs in the surrounding area, while utilizing canine units and air support in hopes of finding the missing boy.
Kyron's family released a statement Wednesday encouraging the public to continue its efforts in looking for their son.
"Please search your properties, your cars, your outbuildings, your sheds," said the family. "Also check with your neighbors and friends who may be on vacation or may need assistance to search their property."
"There are a lot of resources out there to help. Please don't stop."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kyron Horman is asked to call the Multnomah County Sheriff's tip line at 503-261-2847.
Kyron Horman's family makes emotional appeal to keep up search, hope for missing 7-year-old
Published: Friday, June 11, 2010
Kyron Horman's mother, Desiree Young (left), and his stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, listen during a news conference at the Brooks Hill Historic Church on Friday. They were making their first public appearance since their son, 7-year-old Kyron, disappeared from Skyline Elementary School on June 4. search for Kyron enters its ninth day this morning
After staying in seclusion for a week, Kyron Horman's family came out in force Friday to put a public face for the first time on their grief and fear for the missing 7-year-old.
Arm in arm, some with tears streaming down their faces, Kyron's parents and stepparents thanked searchers, investigators and the media for keeping the quest alive to find the Skyline School second-grader with the wide smile. They wore white T-shirts with Kyron's photo and the word "MISSING" in bright orange.
"Kyron, we love you, we miss you, and we need you home right now," said Tony Young, Kyron's stepfather and a Medford police detective.
"Your school friends and your family, teachers, the staff at your school and the community as a whole has shown how much impact one little boy's smile can have on a community. You mean everything to us, and until you come home, this family is not complete."
Family members have been notably scarce since Kyron disappeared eight days ago from his rural school in Northwest Portland, drawing national attention and questions to investigators. Sheriff's officials said the family has wanted to keep the focus on Kyron.
Larry Moulton of Roseburg, the father of the boy's stepmother, said investigators urged the family to avoid the spotlight. But Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton said that's not true. A sheriff's captain who has been working with the family "had a conversation with them and that's when they decided to talk to the media," he said.
The sheriff said he was sorry investigators haven't released much information about the search.
"Because it is a situation where there is a school and a child involved we have been extremely cautious," Staton said. "If we start releasing certain aspects of the case, certain avenues shut down. I apologize to the media and the public because they need to know, but we are not going to release anything that would potentially damage the investigation."
Kyron vanished from the school after attending a science fair with his stepmother the morning of June 4 before classes began. His stepmother last saw him heading for his classroom and found out he was missing later that afternoon when she went to meet his bus and he wasn't on it.
Staton did say that investigators plan today to re-canvass houses in the Skyline neighborhood and that he has deputized law officers from Washington and California. The search has included use of bloodhounds, the U.S. Coast Guard and 30 canine units and is the "largest statewide and multistate search" that other sheriffs have seen, he said.
Promising leads have come into the tip line, Staton added, and they're handed over to investigators within 15 minutes after they're received, but he wouldn't give any details.
He noted that searchers have run into some difficulties in checking private property. "We've had to tell people that we don't want to violate their privacy--we don't care what you have in your car or your barn," Staton said. "We have set aside everything."
But he wouldn't pinpoint where searchers are looking.
Kyron's family made an emotional appeal for people to keep vigilant.
Young said the family has cooperated with the investigation. Speaking directly to Kyron, he said, "We're doing everything we can to work with law enforcement and the search and the rescue crews to make sure that you can get back to us as soon as possible.
"Please Kyron, keep up the hope. We believe in you and we know you will be back with us soon."
His wife, Desiree Young, Kyron's mother, stood arm and arm with his stepmother, Terri Horman, as Kyron's father, Kaine Horman, embraced Tony Young before stepping in front of the cameras. Desiree Young clutched at her stomach, the pain evident on her tear-streaked face.
Kaine Horman expressed gratitude to all the people -- "the community, parents, children, bus drivers" -- who have undergone multiple interviews by authorities.
"We as the family know how difficult and stressful this is, but your memories and statements can help us find Kyron," he said. "We will never be able to thank you enough for that help. Finally, we would like to thank the media. If it was not for you showing Kyron on every news cast, printing his story in the papers, his face would not be known to everyone. People from around the nation have seen his picture -- this helps tremendously. Please help us bring Kyron home."
Family members didn't answer any questions, but investigators said they would accept written questions and possibly answer them later.
On Friday, more than 200 searchers were in the field. They're among about 530 state-certified experts who have come from across Oregon, Washington and Northern California to work in shifts to scour the area around the school and other places identified by investigators.
A small crew on horseback headed to Sauvie Island, where members of a mounted sheriff's posse went house to house beneath gradually clearing skies. The sound of clopping hooves mixed with the thwock-thwock of helicopter blades from an Oregon National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flying overhead.
The helicopter made passes along a north-south line as the mounted riders headed north along Sauvie Island Road, riding through orchards and across the island's farm fields and pumpkin patches.
A flurry of excitement came mid-day when a report surfaced that a boy spotted Thursday in a California Walmart looked like Kyron. But police in Yreka, just south of the Oregon border on Interstate 5, said it was a different child.
At a news conference, investigators displayed clothing similar to what Kyron was last seen wearing -- a black T-shirt with a logo from "CSI," dark gray cargo pants, Hanes brand white socks and child's size 11 Skechers sneakers.
The more familiar people become with the second-grader, the better the chances of finding him, said Capt. Monte Reiser of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. "We show these items to create an additional awareness," Reiser said.
Morale is still high among teams on the ground, he said. Authorities consider the operation a search and rescue mission -- not a recovery effort.
"The weather's improving and our search opportunities are expanding and our commitment to the search has not wavered," Reiser said. "As this search grows longer the resolve grows stronger to find Kyron and bring him home."
-- Stuart Tomlinson and Kate Mather
Statements from the family:
Hello, my name is Tony Young, and I am Kyron's stepfather. The family has asked me to speak on their behalf.
Kyron -- we miss you. We love you. We want and need you home.
We are doing everything we can to work with law enforcement and the search and rescue crews to make sure you can get back to us as soon as possible.
We want to say how much we appreciate the outpouring of love and support, prayers and thoughts as we wait for you. Your school friends and their families, the teachers and staff at your school and the community as a whole have shown how much impact one little boy's smile can have.
You mean everything to us, and until you come home, our family is not complete.
Please Kyron -- keep up the hope. We believe in you and we know you will be back with us soon.
Hi, I'm Kaine, Kyron's father. We want to thank the community, parents, children, bus drivers, and all of those who are being interviewed multiple times to help find Kyron. Thank you.
We as the family know how difficult and stressful this is, but your memories and statements can help us find Kyron. We will never be able to thank you enough for that help.
Finally, we would like to thank the media. If it was not for you showing Kyron on every news cast, printing his story in the papers, his face would not be known to everyone. People from around the nation have seen his picture — this helps tremendously.
Please help us bring Kyron home.
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