July 27, 2010 -- Police have doubled a reward to $50,000 for information that leads them to missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman, who mysteriously disappeared from his Oregon elementary school 53 days ago.
"I'd like to announce that the initial reward of $25,000 ... is being increased to $50,000, effective 3 p.m. today," said Chief Dep. Tim Moore of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Police said the reward, offered by an anonymous donor, will be paid out for "specific information that leads us to Kyron."
As prosecutors impaneled a grand jury, police Tuesday said they could not provide details on an ongoing criminal investigation. Authorities previously have suggested the criminal investigation is focused on the second-grader's stepmother, Terri Horman, the last person to be seen with him.
Kyron's biological mother, Desiree Young, made a tearful appeal at a press conference Tuesday, telling her son they were working everything to find him.
"We love you, Kyron," she said. "Never give up hope. We are all coming to get you to bring you home.
"We feel the investigation continues to be on track and is progressing toward finding Kyron," Young said. "Our goals are to expedite the search, bring him home as quickly as possible, and bring justice to anyone responsible for his disappearance."
Police said they had received 3,500 leads and thousands of tips, according to Capt. Monty Reiser.
Reiser said all tips were processed by experienced detectives, ranked in order of credibility and tracked using special computer software.
Case Against Stepmother Terry Horman?
As the investigation unfolds, prosecutors already seem to be building their case against Terri Horman.
A close friend of the second-grader's stepmother was called Monday to testify before a grand jury.
DeDe Spicher, 43, had no comment outside the courthouse Monday. She has not been charged with a crime, but Kyron's biological parents, Kaine Horman and Young, have said publicly that they believe she aided Kaine Horman's estranged wife Terri Horman in the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron.
Legal experts say a grand jury gives prosecutors sweeping powers that investigators do not have. And in a case with seemingly more questions than answers, testimony could lead to information that will bring authorities closer to finding Kyron.
"A grand jury can be empanelled to further and enhance an investigation that has been stalled," attorney John Henry Hingson said. "Grand jurors can issue subpoenas and have documents produced to have people come forward and testify under oath."
Spicher's attorney, Chad Stavely, told ABC's Portland affiliate KATU that Spicher was asked no questions but told to return, possibly within a few weeks.
In another courtroom, Kaine Horman has filed paperwork to find the source of his wife's hefty payments to her criminal defense attorney and lay claim to a portion of her money.
According to KATU, Terri Horman allegedly had help from a third party to pay $350,000 for representation. An attorney for Kaine Horman, who reportedly is having trouble finding the money to pay for his own legal needs and support himself and the couple's 20-month-old daughter.
The search for Kyron is nearing its second month. He disappeared June 4 from his Portland elementary school after an early morning science fair.
In a report issued to the media Friday, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office seemed to have little information about the boy's whereabouts, nearly two months after he vanished from the elementary school after an early morning science fair.
"We are continuing to hope Kyron is alive and will proceed under that premise," the Sheriff's Office report read, in response to e-mailed media questions.
Terri Horman has not been charged in the boy's disappearance, but has been pummeled with intense scrutiny, most of it coming from her own family. Kaine Horman has publicly pinned his son's disappearance on her more than once.
Spicher was identified by law enforcement as a confidante of Terri Horman and, according to Kaine Horman's statement last week, she's not cooperating with investigators.
"She has not only been in close communication with Terri but has been providing Terri with support and advice that is not in the best interests of our son," read the family statement, accompanied by a picture of Spicher. "Additional information provided shows that she is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement, she is also going as far as to suggest to others that may have information regarding Kyron's disappearance, not to cooperate as well."
The Oregonian reported that Spicher was spotted by a witness leaving her job for about 90 minutes on June 4, the day Kyron disappeared from his elementary school. She was gone, the paper reported, around the same time the boy is believed to have vanished and that a second witness reported not being able to reach Spicher on her cell phone during that time.
"We implore DeDe Spicher to come forward and cooperate with the investigators," the family's statement continued. "If we find out through the investigation that she caused a delay in us finding our son due to her lack of cooperation, we will pursue civil remedies in this matter."
McCain noted Friday that the continued updates on the investigation that have been coming from Kyron's parents are unusual for a complicated criminal case such as this.
"There's been absolutely silence from this investigative team. Everything we're learning about this is coming from Kaine and the Youngs," he told "Good Morning America."
Kaine Horman Refuses to Give Up Hope That Son Is Alive
The family's statement came one day after ABC's Portland affiliate KATU reported that Terri Horman had told Kyron's teachers and classmates that he would be out of the classroom that Friday at a doctor's appointment, giving the school no reason to expect him back after the science fair that morning.
But Terri Horman has been vague with investigators, the affiliate reported, later telling detective she was referring to the next Friday, June 11.
"Clearly even school children were aware that he was going to the doctor that day and they expected him to be at the doctor that day so now after the fact to say, 'I didn't know it was that day, it was another day,' it is weak," former homicide detective C.W. Jensen said.
The school had faced immense scrutiny in the days and weeks after Kryon vanished after Horman told investigators that she last saw Kyron before leaving the fair and only realized he was missing when he didn't get off the bus that afternoon.
"That now gives about a six- to seven-hour window in which no one was concerned about his whereabouts," McCain said, calling the move "carefully orchestrated."
Terri Horman is also being eyed in an alleged murder-for-hire plot in which she allegedly tried to hire a landscaper to kill Kaine Horman. Kaine Horman quickly filed for divorce and fled the family's home with the couple's 20-month-old daughter. He was granted an emergency restratining order keeping Terri Horman away from him and their little girl.
A judge evicted Terri Horman from the family's home earlier this month.
Terri Horman and her attorney have declined to comment on the allegations made by Kyron's parents. Her lawyer, Stephen Houze, said that his client has been receiving death threats and that the media frenzy surrounding the case has morphed into a "witch hunt."
Police said they've received more than 3,000 tips and the district attorney has subpoenaed 200 sets of records.
Kaine Horman, told "Good Morning America" earlier this month that Terri Horman seemed to change after the birth of their 20-month-old daughter, Kiara.
"She went through some post-partum depression after the birth and her emotional state was more erratic," Horman said.
Young said she didn't believe Terri Horman from the beginning when she called to tell her that Kyron went missing from his elementary school.
"There was just certain details that just didn't make any sense that gave me that sick to my stomach feeling," Young said.