Multnomah County investigators in the Kyron Horman case are expecting the return of most or all of thequestionnaires passed out with fliers on Friday (or downloaded online), hoping that the pictures of Terri Moulton Horman, Kyron’s stepmother, and the white Ford F250 truck might spark memories that could potentially lead to locating the missing second-grader. The Oregonian reported that authorities noted when they launched this latest phase in the search for the missing boy that they weren’t attempting to single out Terri Moulton Horman, but she was the last person known to have seen Kyron Horman on the day of his disappearance. Her connection to the case and to the time when the child went missing made it necessary to include her in the questions. But experts believe authorities are focusing on Terri Moulton Horman as a suspect.
Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson told CBS News, “We don’t really have any hard evidence yet that she is responsible for the boy going missing, but all of the investigation seems to be keying in on her.” She added that investigators seemed to be “keying in on who they believe is responsible.”
In addition to the questionnaires, Terri Moulton Horman submitted to a second polygraph test. A friend told The Oregonian that Horman was “tired and frustrated with the intensity of the questioning she’s been getting.” She also said Horman wasn’t “happy” about having to take Saturday’s polygraph test.
When asked if there was any significance in Terri Moulton Horman’s second polygraph test, former FBI profilerClint Van Zandt told the “Today Show” that having people closely associated with the case and/or the victim brought in multiple times for questioning was standard. He noted that as more information became available, investigators would need to clarify aspects of their case, ask individuals to clarify or explain. He said he wouldn’t read too much into the second polygraph, although it appeared that Multnomah County officials were probably attempting to solidify Terri Moulton Horman’s timeline for the day Kyron Horman went missing.
The 7-year-old disappeared sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the morning of June 4. Terri Moulton Horman told police she had left him walking toward his classroom at 8:45 a.m. after taking him to school early to view science fair projects. Kyron’s teacher marked him absent when he didn’t show up for his 9:00 a.m. class.
Terri Horman would call the school at 3:45 p.m. when Kyron did not get off the bus. Finding out he had not been marked present for class, police were notified and a search for the little boy began.
But general speculation around the case, especially on the internet never left the stepmother. Even after Multnomah County officials defended the family’s initial (and continuing) reticence regarding the disappearance, talk persisted. And when the questionnaires and second polygraph test became news Friday, conjecture and speculation seemed to be all but confirmed.
John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted,” told KPTV in Portland (a Fox Television affiliate) Friday morning before the questionnaires and polygraph test became public knowledge: “My gut feeling is that they have a person of interest and they’re trying to make sure that they don’t make any mistakes that would compromise this case, and we all have to hold out hope that this person is keeping Kyron alive.”
Although it seems that experts are reluctant to actually place a the finger of suspicion — to name names, as it were — on stepmother Terri Moulton Horman, it appears that it is being subtly placed on her nonetheless.
Police are also not placing direct suspicion on the stepmother. They have not named her as a suspect or a person of interest. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Capt. Jason Gates said, “Terri is the last known person to have seen Kyron before he disappeared. We are releasing this information at this time in hope that it helps jog people’s memory of that day.”
Gates said that they were just trying to conduct a thorough investigation. “We can assure you that our primary goal is not to make any mistakes in this case — to be as perfect as we can in investigating this case.” He added, “It’s very important that we reach everyone who was here.”