PORTLAND, Ore. July 2, 2010 — -- Her voice shaking and her face overcome with despair, the mother of 7-year-old Kyron Horman said she knows there is still time to save her son.
"Kyron is still alive," Desiree Young said at an emotional news conference Thursday in which she and her ex-husband pleaded with the boy's stepmother to cooperate with the police investigation and help "bring Kyron home."
The stepmother, Terri Horman, has been at the center of growing suspicion that exploded in the past week when her husband, Kaine Horman, filed for divorce and was granted an emergency restraining order that bars her from seeing him and her children.
The Terri Horman seen only briefly since Kyron's June 4 disappearance appears in stark contrast to the tanned and toned woman who boasted rippling muscles as a body builder in 2005. By then she was already a mother to an older son from a previous relationship and was raising Kyron, then a toddler, with Kaine Horman.
But it was also during these years that she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and to "reckless endangerment of another" for driving drunk with her then-11-year-old son in the car.
Now, she has been all but isolated from the family. The emergency restraining order a judge granted Monday is indicative, under Oregon law, that there is some kind of immediate danger to Kaine and the children, experts say.
ABC News has learned that not one, but two 911 calls were placed from the Horman's home last Saturday, the day Kaine Horman left the family's home with the couple's 18-month-old daughter.
The first call was made Saturday evening and lasted 13 minutes, the caller reporting threats of some kind. The second came in just after 11:30 p.m. and was written up only as a "child custody call."
The exact reason for the first call has not been released, and police said the call is now part of their case into Kyron's disappearance.
Kaine Horman filed for divorce and the restraining order two days later, on Monday.
Terri Horman this week hired prominent Portland criminal defense lawyer Stephen Houze and was seen in his company as she returned home Wednesday night.
Young and Kaine Horman were intent, however, on keeping the public interested in the search for their boy.
"We lean on each other. We use Kyron as our strength. We pray each day for resolution and for Kyron," Young said.
"Not knowing where he is is the most difficult."
Kaine Horman said, "We miss his toothless smile... that every day happy noise in the house when he's playing."
His mother added, "I want everyone in world to know who Kyron is and what he looks like."
"We are optimistic that Kyron will be found... All of us feel fully confident in investigation," she said.
Police have not named Horman or anyone else as a suspect or person of interest in the case.
Terri Horman Takes On Her Detractors
Houze has not made any comments yet on his new client's behalf, but Horman herself apparently has lashed back at the suspicion, reportedly leaving comments on the Web site of ABC's Portland affiliate, KATU.
The station says it has verified that it was Horman posting under usernames to agree with supporters and argue with detractors. Horman was the last person to see Kyron alive.
"Wow. Unless you know all the details, the stress, the worry, the pain, you have nothing to speak of," she reportedly wrote on June 10 in response to a story on KATU. "You are merely making assumptions -- you have no facts, details or knowledge to present so please refrain from your accusations."
The divorce papers cite "irreconcilable differences."
But to file the type of emergency restraining order that he did, Kaine Horman would have had to made the case that his wife posed an immediate threat to him or their 18-month old daughter, according to Garrett.
The restraining order prohibits Terri Horman from having contact with her other children, an older son and the toddler daughter. Kaine Horman is asking Oregon courts for sole custody of the little girl.
The order also prohibits Terri Horman from possessing any guns, according to The Associated Press.
The restraining order has been sealed by a judge who said he was concerned that releasing the entire document could jeopardize the investigation into the disappearance of Kyron.
Under Oregon law, the type of emergency restraining order granted to Kaine Horman would require some specific example of why there was an immediate threat of danger, former FBI special agent Brad Garrett told "Good Morning America."
"There's something under the surface here that we don't know about," Garrett said. "There's got to be some pattern of abuse here. It's not something that all of a sudden happened and he decided to go to court."
Terri Horman, who has raised Kyron since infancy, has said virtually nothing in public about the June 4 disapperance of the little boy, appearing twice in solidarity with her husband and Kyron's mother and stepfather.
Terri Horman's name, however, was not on in a statement issued Monday night by Kyron's mother, father and stepfather.
"We have been fully briefed by law enforcement on the ongoing criminal investigation," the statement read, adding that the family was "in complete support of that investigation."
Desperate Search for Bespectacled Boy
Kyron disappeared from his elementary school after an early-morning science fair, where he was photographed smiling near his presentation on frogs.
Terri Horman told police that after touring the fair with Kyron, she last saw him walking down the hallway to his classroom. He never made it. Garrett noted that whoever took Horman likely planned the abduction as such decisions are rarely made spur of the moment.
Garrett questions whether police actions, including a reported six-hour interview with Terri Horman and the search of her home and car, and those of her husband could be part of a larger plan to get her to open up about the day Kyron vanished.
"It's almost like a psychological noose that they're pulling around," he said. "If we push her a little bit further, maybe she'll tell the truth."
A website devoted to the search for Kyron posted a message today that the site would be taken down at the end of the week, and that no more bracelets or buttons would be distributed unless through Kaine Horman.
The whole chain of explosive events, Garrett said, is unusual when there was no previous indication, at least publicly, that anything was amiss in the Horman family.
"It's very hard because with no history of any issues in this family and then Kyron disappears," he said.
Kaine and Terri Horman married in 2007. Their blended family included Kyron and Terri's older son and the couple's daughter.
Her husband's decision to file for divorce Monday comes on the heels of an interview Terri Horman's father gave to People magazine, in which he was quoted saying there's a "50-50" chance his daughter would be arrested.
He now says his statements were twisted around and is staying with his daughter to support her.