Three weeks into the Kyron Horman case, and the 7-year-old has yet to be found. The parents are finally speaking out on national television, appearing on NBC’s “Today Show” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” talking about the case and pleading for help and the safe return of the second-grader. But, the Kyron Horman case seems to be lacking in much-needed details. Although glaringly different in many ways and an entire continent apart, the case is somewhat reminiscent of the Haleigh Cummings case in some respects. And, both stories begin with the caretaker/babysitter/stepmother telling the story.
Terri Moulton Horman had known Kyron since he was a baby, and helped raise him from the time he was 3 years old, becoming his stepmother in 2007. She was the last person known to have seen the 7-year-old.
As for Misty Croslin Cummings, she lived with Ronald Cummings, the father of 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings, in Satsuma, Florida, and helped raise Haleigh and her younger brother, Ronald Jr. She would become Haleigh’s stepmother a month after the child disappeared. She was the last person known to have seen the little girl.
Both children disappeared in places where someone should have noticed their disappearances. Both were last seen by their caretakers. Kyron Horman supposedly disappeared from a Portland, Oregon, school where a science fair was occurring. Haleigh Cummings supposedly disappeared from a room where two other people were only a few feet from her.
Both tell a story of protective endearment as the last act they shared with the missing children. Terri Moulton Horman hugged Kyron Horman before watching him walk to class. Misty Croslin tucked Haleigh Cummings into bed.
Kyron Horman has been described as a little boy who would never have wandered off on his own. Haleigh Cummings was described as a little girl afraid of the dark, and would not have left the home at night.
Both children went missing in areas where large bodies of water are within minutes of their homes, giving a predator/killer an optimal location for disposal of a small body.
Both stepmothers were questioned by law enforcement and submitted to polygraph tests multiple times.
Both cases have seen a close relative, both alleged sex offenders, come under scrutiny. In Oregon, Kyron’s uncle, Kristian Horman, was arrested for child molestation in October 2009 and recently sentenced to six months in jail. In Florida, Misty Croslin’s cousin Joe Overstreet was alleged to be a child molester, although it was later found that he had no criminal record.
Regardless of the similarities, none of the circumstances described would stand in a court of law as reasons to implicate either Terri Moulton Horman or Misty Croslin Cummings in the disappearance of the two children.
There is one striking difference in the two cases, however, that must be pointed out. In the case of Kyron Horman, by all accounts, the stepmother and other family members are close and have a good relationship, an accord obviously lacking in the relationship between Haleigh Cummings’ family members.
Haleigh Cummings has been missing since February 2009. Although her case has been ruled a homicide investigation, and there have been various developments in the investigation, Haleigh Cummings or her remains have yet to be found, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has yet to charge anyone in connection to her disappearance. Most of the investigation has centered around Misty Croslin from the beginning.
Kyron Horman went missing on June 4. Neither he nor his remains have been recovered. Multnomah County officials have charged no one with involvement in his disappearance. The investigation has centered around Terri Moulton Horman in recent days, a questionnaire having been distributed asking if parents, students, or visitors to the school had seen Kyron and/or his stepmother on the day he disappeared.
It is uncertain if charges will ever be brought in either case.
“Today Show,” NBC Television, MSNBC.msn.com
“Good Morning America,” ABC Television, ABCNews.go.com