PORTLAND, Ore., June 18, 2010 -- The family of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman said today they are preparing for their first fathers day without him, while a police flyer seeking information appears to target the boy's stepmother.
At a press conference today, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jason Gates dispelled rumors that Kyron had been found and said that the search is still ongoing.
"[Kyron] has not been found yet and the community needs to keep looking for him," said Gates. "Kyron we are still looking for you."
"We are continuing a second canvas of the teachers, staff, volunteers, students and parents or anyone who came to the school the day Kyron went missing," said Gates.
Gates read a statement from the Horman family, thanking authorities for their hard work and chronicling their heartbreak after two weeks without word from their young son.
"It has been two weeks since our son Kyron disappeared," said the statement. "For the last 14 days we have not been able to talk to him see him playing around the house or tuck him in bed. Any parents would understand the grief that this causes our family."
"Father's day is Sunday. For the first time in seven years we won't have Kyron around to talk to. It hurts us deeply and our hearts are broken," it said.
Kyron's plight has put an unwelcome spotlight on the family. Earlier this week, the boy's uncle, Kristian Horman, 32, was taken into custody in Washington state following his conviction earlier in the week on charges of child molestation in the third degree. Officials say he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female relative. He will serve six months in prison.
The three-page flyer released by the sheriff's office is seeking information from anyone who was at the school or had children at the school where Kyron was last seen on June 4.
In addition to photographs of Kyron, the flyer has several images of his stepmother, Terri Horman, who was the last person to see the boy.
Questions on the flyers include "Did you see Kyron and if so where" and also asks if they saw his mother or her white Ford truck on that day.
Search for Kyron Horman Expands
The flyers come on the heels of the construction earlier this week of 30 large billboards with Kyron's smiling, bespectacled face, the words "Endangered Missing."
The billboards were donated by Clear Channel "to help get the message out to bring Kyron home," according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
"We're still waiting for that one tip. That one tip that will bring Kyron home," Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lt. Mary Lindstrand said earlier this week.
Lindstrand characterized the investigation as "moving forward" but declined to provide further details. Tips from the public continue to come in on "a consistent basis" she said, but didn't provide an exact number.
One tip arrived in the mail written on a postcard, Lindstrand said.
Police said dive teams continued searching bodies of water near where Kyron disappeared. Investigators including members of the sheriff's major crimes team and the FBI are canvassing a four mile radius around Kyron's school and re-interviewing parents, students and school employees.
Lindstrand said sheriff's officials are in regular contact with Kyron's parents, who have declined interviews.
"They said, 'We don't want our faces out there. We want Kyron's face out there,'" she said.
Police declared the case a criminal investigation Sunday and since Monday have refused to grant any interviews or provide regular updates.
Lindstrand held a brief press conference today outside a sheriff's building because she said investigators want to keep the public interested in the case.
"America's Most Wanted" to Feature Kyron Horman
Lindstrand also said the television show "America's Most Wanted" is currently preparing a story on Kyron's case.
Kyron disappeared on the morning of June 4, after he and his stepmother Terri Horman attended a school science fair where Kyron had displayed a project on red tree frogs. His stepmother said she last saw Kyron walking down a hallway toward his classroom.
When Kyron didn't come home on the bus that Friday afternoon, his parents called the school, which in turn called 911, launching what Gates said could be the largest search operation in Oregon history.
Approximately 1,300 searchers in the field were joined by 213 additional investigators from 42 different agencies from California, Oregon and Washington. A National Guard helicopter also joined in the search.
Many of the search teams have packed up and headed home, although a small number of local teams will be on call in case there are any new leads or developments.
Kyron's family has only appeared twice in public since he disappeared. On Friday, his stepfather made an emotional plea for his return.
"You mean everything to us," said his stepfather Tony Young. "And until you come home this family's not complete. Please Kyron, keep up the hope."
For many people here, the distinction between a missing persons case and a criminal one is irrelevant since Kyron is still nowhere to be found.
"It has not changed our focus," family friend Becky Owens said. "Our focus has been and will continue to be finding Kyron. So it doesn't change what we're doing, getting his face out to as many people as possible."