PORTLAND, Ore. — The search for Kyron Horman is still active, seven years after he vanished.
New documents and interviews suggest there’s increased activity surrounding the investigation into Horman's 2010 disappearance.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is quietly coordinating ground searches, detectives are analyzing new computer evidence and a grand jury remains empaneled in the Horman case.
“We’re pretty excited about the work that they are doing, the level of work and the amount that’s been going on,” said Kaine Horman, Kyron’s father. “It’s still extremely busy.”
Kyron Horman disappeared from Skyline School in Northwest Portland on June 4, 2010. Local police, the FBI and hundreds of volunteers scoured the wooded areas around Kyron’s home and his school, but he was never found.
“There are days you wake up and you think, I just can’t do this another day,” said Kyron’s mother, Desiree Young. “Then, you talk yourself into getting back up, one more day, and keep going because you can’t give up.”
After a lull in the case, Young feels the pace of the investigation into her son’s disappearance has picked up. New documents from investigators show they’re still actively working the case.
“Multnomah County’s criminal investigation into the disappearance of Kyron Horman is also active and ongoing, with detectives continuing to follow leads, and a grand jury remains empaneled to take evidence in this matter,” wrote Sgt. Keith Krafve of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
Krafve made that statement in a sworn declaration provided to KGW in response to a public records request. It is the most revealing official statement about the Horman investigation in years.
Over the past few months, search and rescue crews have quietly conducted searches in connection with the Horman investigation.
“There have been recent searches as recently as March and April. There are going to be more searches in the near future,” said Young.
In late September, searchers from several police agencies scoured an area along Highway 30 near Sauvie Island. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on what investigators were looking for, whether they found anything or what led them to search that location in Northwest Portland.
Detectives hope a digital trail will help provide clues into the whereabouts of Kyron Horman.
“They are working computer forensic information and evidence that they’ve gotten that’s come to light recently,” explained Young.
Multnomah County investigators declined to provide details about the new evidence. A source with knowledge of the investigation said police recently examined a laptop computer that used to belong to Kyron’s stepmother, Terri Horman.
Police have long focused their attention on Terri Horman. She took Kyron to school the day he disappeared. She has never been charged in the case, although in 2012 Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Henry Kantor called her “a prime suspect in the investigation.”
Horman has repeatedly denied any involvement in Kyron’s disappearance.
“I need people to know I did not harm my son,” Horman explained during a national television interview on ‘Dr. Phil’ in September.
KGW was not able to reach Horman for comment on this story.
“I personally believe the stepmom has something, some knowledge of what happened to Kyron,” said victim’s rights advocate John Walsh in an interview with KGW.
Walsh is familiar with the Kyron Horman case after it was featured on ‘America’s Most Wanted.’
Focus shifts to California
Terri Horman, who now goes by her maiden name, Terri Moulton, has been living and working in northern California.%INLINE%
Detectives looking into Kyron’s disappearance have taken special interest in Horman’s recent legal problems in California. Investigators from Oregon traveled to the Sacramento area to conduct interviews in the case, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.
Horman is scheduled to go to trial in Yuba County, California in late June for a misdemeanor gun theft charge. Police say Horman stole her roommate’s handgun from his safe.
In an unrelated matter, Horman’s former boyfriend took out a restraining order in December. He claimed she threatened him with a knife.
“It really just reinforces the fact that she is a person that has been doing things that have been illegal for a very long time,” said Young.
Additionally, police in Roseburg confirm detectives are investigating an alleged murder-for-hire plot involving Horman that dates back decades. Horman’s ex-boyfriend told KGW she allegedly tried to have him killed in 1990. No charges have ever been filed in that case.
“She needs to be held accountable for all that she has done,” said Young.
Grand Jury in Horman case
A Multnomah County grand jury remains empaneled to take evidence in the Horman case, according to Sgt. Krafve’s letter.
It’s not clear if that means prosecutors are actively presenting evidence or if the secret panel is simply on standby for testimony. Grand jury hearings are closed to the media and to the public.
“It’s a little hard to see how the grand jury would be used as an investigative tool right now. Especially since we are talking seven years after the fact,” explained Tung Yin, criminal law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.
“Not all cases brought before the grand jury result in indictment,” Yin said.
Age progression photo
Later this month, investigators hope to provide an updated age progression photo of Kyron Horman, Lt. Chad Gaidos of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said. %INLINE%
The last age enhanced photo shows the missing boy at age 9. Kyron Horman would now be 14 years old.
“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is still actively working on this case,” said Callahan Walsh, a child advocate for the nonprofit group. “We’ll never give up hope.”
Kyron’s parents certainly aren’t giving up hope, either. They believe this investigation recently picked up momentum and it’s just a matter of time until the case is solved.
“I’ve had that dream of Kyron coming home. It’s so vivid,” explained Kyron’s mother Desiree Young. “I’m hoping our day is soon.”
Watch KGW News at 11 p.m. for more on this investigation