A missing person case is never an easy mystery to solve. When someone goes away, there isn’t any trace to follow.

Unlike other cases like robbery or homicide, the police rarely have meaningful physical evidence to investigate further. In the absence of evidence, it is difficult to determine where to look next.

Local law enforcement and federal agencies rush to track the trail left behind, but the search often focuses on where the person was last seen at some point in the past.

They scramble around the area in the hope of finding clues despite being aware of the possibility that the missing person could be miles away already.

The disappearance of a young child is a lot more troublesome. Toddler depends on their parents for food, safety, shelter, and just about everything else.

The thought of a small child being alone in an unfamiliar situation with strangers is unbearable. Kyron Horman, a child from Portland, Oregon, has been missing for more than a decade.

Kyron was only 7-year-old when he was last seen at the Skyline Elementary School in June 2010.


10 /10 Absent From School

Kyron Horman attended a school science fair to start his day on June 4, 2010. Skyline Elementary opened at 8:00 am that day to give parents and their kids a chance to tour the fair.

About 45 minutes later, Kyron walked down the hallway heading toward his classroom as his stepmother, Terri Horman, watched. The stepmother left the school shortly afterward.

The class began at 10:00 am. Kyron was supposed to be home at around 3:30 pm, but when Terri and his father, Kaine Horman, met the school bus, they were informed that Kyron had been absent from school all day.

9 /10 Large Scale Search

After hearing the bad news, Terri and Kaine contacted Skyline Elementary for some explanation. The school secretary, Susan Hall, had no idea what had happened.

At 3:46 pm, she called 911 to report a missing person. About 45 minutes later, officers from the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Skyline Elementary and Kyron’s home for preliminary investigation.

A broadcast message was sent to parents in Portland Public Schools stating that Kyron Horman didn’t come home today.

Later that night, a large-scale search for Kyron began. The investigation involved 65 detectives, 60 trained searchers, and more volunteers.

chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

8 /10 Associated Press Notified

Early Saturday at 5:00 am, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office called a search group known as the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue for assistance.

Around 60-70 people had already begun their search when the group arrived on-site (in and around Skyline Elementary).

A few hours later, the Associated Press received its first official notification about Kyron’s disappearance via email.

During a press conference at noon, a spokesman for the sheriff clarified that the search at that point was still a missing-person case, and had not shifted into a criminal investigation, yet.


7 /10 Debriefings

Another broadcast message was sent on June 5 to alert staff, parents, and students – who on Friday were present at Skyline School – to come to K-8 on Sunday for debriefings by federal agents and police.

Older students were scheduled for debriefings at 10:00 am, and Kindergartners and first-graders were also required to come with their parents.

Authorities also announced that the National Guard and the FBI had joined the search effort. The quick grid search around the school was completed later that day

After more than a 24-hour intensive investigation, no one found any trace of the missing boy.

6 /10 Family News Conference

Kyron’s family held the first news conference about the case on June 11, a week after the boy was reported missing.

On June 10, the FBI interviewed hundreds of Kyron’s classmates and their parents, and the interviews took place several days after the debriefings at the school on Sunday.

During the news conference, Kyron’s stepfather, Tony Young, said the family was doing everything they could to work together with rescue crews and law enforcement and asked community members to help find the boy.

Kaine Horman also expressed his gratitude to the neighbors and the search teams.

The Oregonian File Photo

5 /10 Investigation Shifted

On June 13 at noon, the sheriff announced that the massive search for Kyron Horman had ended. The investigation starting at this point, shifted to a criminal investigation.

The search effort was one of the largest in the state’s history, involving more than 1,300 people from Oregon, Northern California, and Washington.

The search area covered a two-mile radius around Skyline School and included parts of Sauvie Island. The official also offered a reward of $25,000 for any information leading to the whereabouts of Kyron Horman.

4 /10 Shocking Accusation

A landscaper who once worked for Kyron’s family told authorities that the boy’s stepmother had tried to hire him to kill Kaine Horman.

Terri reportedly offered the landscaper a large amount of money to put her husband’s life to an end, about six months before Kyron went missing.

On June 26, the landscaper went to see Terri, but this time he did it under the instructions from the police and wearing a recording device.

During the conversation, he threatened to report everything to the police if she didn’t give him $10,000. Terri denied the accusation and was not charged.

3 /10 Restraining Order

Upon hearing the revelation about Terri and the landscaper, Kaine filed for a divorce. He left Terri and took their then-19-month-old daughter, Kiara.

He also asked for a restraining order against Terri, citing the story about her intention to hire someone to murder him.

Kaine wrote in the petition that the police had provided him with probable cause to believe the accusation was true. The restraining order was granted.

For reasons unclear, Kaine made a shocking statement to suggest that Terri was somehow involved in his son’s disappearance.


2 /10 Stepmom Under Scrutiny

Although Terri has never been named as a person of interest in the disappearance of Kyron Horman, the authorities were actively investigating any possible connection between the missing boy and a circle of her friends, including DeDe Spicher and Michael Cook.

The former was frequently seen at the Horman home after Kaine left the property and filed a restraining order, while the latter also appeared after Kyron went missing.

On July 28, a lawyer representing Terri filed a motion to delay the divorce proceeding, citing intense media scrutiny.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

1 /10 Still Missing

It has been more than 11 years since Kyron Horman went missing from his school in June 2010. Search efforts thus far have found nothing to at least point to his whereabouts or whether or not he is still alive.

The investigations focus on the possible involvement of his stepmother, Terri, and her friend, Spicher, mainly triggered by their suspicious activities immediately after the boy vanished.

It is still an open case, and the reward has since been increased from $25,000 to $50,000 for information leading to Kyron, who until this day remains missing. 

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