His case resulted in an expansive search of Portland as well as a lawsuit against his stepmother. The $25,000 reward offered after his disappearance has since doubled to $50,000 and is still active, a local news station Fox-12 reported.
Horman’s disappearance is featured in Investigation Discovery’s Nine at 9 Series in the episode “Little Boy Lost.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Horman Was Born Into A Blended Family
Horman was born to Desiree Young and Kaine Horman on September 9, 2002. About a month before, his parents divorced when Young filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences,” The Oregonian reported. When Young began suffering from kidney failure, she went to Canada to seek treatment and left her son in the hands of his father and her friend, a caregiver named Terri Moulton. Moulton moved in to help Horman’s father, who was often gone for work, and brought her son from a first marriage.
Desire, stuck with $30,000 in medical bills, moved in with family when she returned to Oregon, The Oregonian reported. She, along with her new husband, Medford Police Detective Tony Young, helped care for her son. Horman’s father married Moulton and on Mother’s Day, “gave his new bride a 2007 candy apple red Ford Mustang GT.”
Young said the two remained cordial for their son’s sake. According to The Oregonian, “The mother, Desiree Young, 38, and stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, 40, were friends long before the beaming and bespectacled 7-year-old went missing.”
At the time of his disappearance, Horman also had a half-sister, a little girl from his father and Moulton named Kiara.
2. The Seven-Year-Old Never Made It To Class
Horman’s stepmother is the last known person to have seen him alive.
According to Fox News, she dropped the second-grader off at Skyline Elementary School where he was supposed to attend a science fair. The article reported that she and Horman previewed the science fair exhibitions before his first-class and posted a photo of him smiling by a tree frog exhibit.
In an interview with Dr. Phil, Moulton said he also dropped off some library books. She said she stood at the top of the stairs and watch him go into his classroom door.
Moulton has said that after dropping him off, she went to several stores, seeking medication for her daughter, Kiara, according to The Oregonian. Police used surveillance and receipts to verify her story. She reported him missing after he did not return home on the school bus and the school reported that he had not been in classes all day.
3. The Search For Him Was the Largest Search In Oregon History
Tony Young, Horman’s stepfather, spoke on the family’s behalf at a press conference a week after he disappeared.
I would just like to say: Kyron: we miss you, we love you and we need you home right now.
We want to say how much we appreciate the outpouring of love and support prayer and thoughts as we wait for you.
You mean everything to us. Until you come home, this family is not complete.
The disappearance brought out hundreds of participants to search for Horman and according to KGW, his disappearance “prompted the largest search-and-rescue operation in Oregon history.”
A “Wall of Hope” — a school fence covered in tributes to him — was erected after Horman’s disappearance.
At the press conference, Horman’s stepfather said, “Your school friends and families, teachers, staff at school and community as a whole have shown how much impact one little boy’s smile can have on a community.”
According to the FBI, Kyron was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with a handprint graphic and the letters “CSI” in green, along with his metal-framed glasses. He was also wearing black cargo pants, white socks and black Sketcher sneakers with orange trim.
He weighed just 50 pounds and stood at 3-feet-8-inches tall at the time of his disappearance with brown hair and blue eyes.
4. Young And Police Focused On Moulton And Her Friend, Dede Spicher
Young told Fox News that she last saw her son two weeks before June 4 and that he seemed so upset by the idea of returning to his father and stepmother’s home that she had to convince him to return:
But he didn’t want to go back. He wanted to stay with me. It was an emotional exchange. He had to actually be talked into going back. I tried to talk to him a little bit about what was going on, but he was not very forthcoming about what was upsetting him. I even talked to his father about it, but I was dismissed and told I was just overreacting. It was really upsetting and it was the last exchange I had with him. But he knew that I love him and that I was trying everything I could to remedy the situation within my power.
Police also focused in on both Moulton as well as her friend, Dede Spicher’s whereabouts during the day of Horman’s disappearance, The Oregonian reported. Spicher reportedly said she arrived to a home on Old Germantown Road at 9 a.m. and spent the morning and afternoon gardening on the 40-acre property that day. However, investigators said that she wasn’t seen from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Underhill also said that one or more witnesses said they saw someone else in the Hormans’ truck between 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. while it was parked in front of the school on the day Horman disappeared, The Oregonian reported. According to Fox News, Moulton’s cell phone records “didn’t match where she said she was on the day Horman disappeared.
In 2013, Horman’s father finalized their divorce and before that, he had sought a restraining order, saying that the believed Moulton was somehow responsible for Horman’s disappearance. In his divorce papers, Horman’s father accused Moulton of trying to hire a landscaper to kill him and make it look like an accidental mugging, according to KATU-2.
The landscaper, Rodolfo Sanchez said in a deposition that five months before Horman disappeared, Moulton told him that she needed help getting rid of her abusive husband who always carried $10,000. Horman’s father said that after police told him about the accusations Sanchez made in his deposition, that’s when he decided to file for divorce and get a restraining order, KATU-2 reported.
Very recently, a new book written by Rebecca Morris has come out, “Boy Missing: The Search for Kyron Horman,” where Morris says that Horman’s bus driver and a classmate along with two of the classmate’s family members saw Horman “walk through the school parking lot with Terri Horman and her infant daughter on June 4, 2010,” KGW reported.
However, Moulton has maintained that she last saw Horman at school, she doesn’t know what happened to him after that and doesn’t know where he is. According to Fox News, she received such “intense suspicion” from people in Oregon that she eventually moved to California.
Moulton admitted on the Dr. Phil show that she failed two lie detector tests and walked out on a third; she said that was because she had a hard time hearing due to being deaf in her left ear. She also admitted that she lied to the media about her troubled relationship with Harmon’s father because the police told her to. Dr. Phil also questioned her about sexts she sent to a man within a month of Horman’s disappearance; she said that she sent the texts to get back at Horman’s father, who she accused of doing the same thing at the time.
5. Young Has Sued Moulton Over Horman’s Disappearance
Young filed a civil case against Moulton, accusing her of being responsible for Horman’s disappearance.
“Terri continues to not cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation in any way,” she said at a press conference. However, Young dropped the suit because she said her lawyers told her it could not move forward without files from the criminal investigation. Since that file would include details not released to the public, Young said she dropped the suit to ensure it wouldn’t interfere with the investigation into her son’s death.
Young has said she doesn’t believe Horman would have wandered away on his own and was likely taken by someone he trusted, according to what she told Fox News:
Kyron does not have very good eyes,” she explained. “He can’t see, so he’s not going to wander around. He’s also very shy and doesn’t trust people right away. That’s just not his style. I know that was a theory from the very beginning. But that’s not Kyron. He wouldn’t do that. He’s a pretty shy, timid child. He has a great wit and a sense of humor, but he doesn’t show it very often to people he doesn’t know. He doesn’t trust strangers. He prefers to be around his family.
The FBI has asked that anyone with information about Horman’s disappearance call the local tip line at (503) 261-2847, nearest FBI office or American Embassy or Consulate.