Attorney Robin Sax: My first reaction to the Kyron Horman disappearance was "we don't have to automatically blame the stepmom without any evidence." In the case of missing kids (or any case), it it critical not to rush to judgment and cast blame until due diligence is gathered.
There are two ways to approach a case. One is where we look at evidence to lead us to perp and the other is to look at the perp and dig for the evidence. It is always best practice to look at the evidence naturally, weighing the inner circles first and moving outward from there.
At this point in the investigation, I think suspicions about stepmom Terri Horman are more than warranted as the evidence is stacking up in the court of opinion. While Terri is not officially a suspect or person of interest on any law enforcement lists (yet), I do believe Terri is very much a person of public interest.
Let us examine some of the known facts gathered in the last weeks:
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1. Terri was the last person to be with Kyron before he disappeared almost a month ago.
2. Terri was the person who reported Kyron missing.
3. The police said that the community "need not be in fear for their kids' safety" (this is a strong indicator that the police don't believe a deranged predator is on the loose - rather, it was an isolated incident ... i.e. Kyron may have known the person who took him and there may be a unique motivation for this crime specifically.)
4. Allegedly, Terri wrote on her Facebook page soon after the boy vanished that she was "hitting the gym." However, it should be noted that officials told the family to "continue their normal routine." Nevertheless, if her state of mind was truly grief stricken, wouldn't you expect a post would say "talking a walk..." or "trying to work out today" or something softer than "hitting the gym" which just sounds so flippant and normal. Compare this statement to the boy's biological mother's open letter to her son right after he went missing. Desiree Young (who did not have custody of the boy but saw him every weekend) expresses to Kyron how much she misses him and just wants to hug him. Now please do not misunderstand me -- I am stepmom myself so I know just how much love a stepmom can have for her kids. I'm not suggesting it has anything to do with the "step" part of Terri's mom-title. Just notice their different behaviors and you see a significant difference in the reactions.
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5. Terri has been grilled extensively by police and her car has been taken in for evidence. This definitely raises eyebrows for me.
6. Investigators in the case determined that Terri may not have been where she professed to be when Kyron vanished. Instead of being at Kyron's school, cell phone records indicate Terri was on Sauvie Island, which is located five miles from the boy's school. Law enforcement have been searching that area for about a week.
7. Right after Kyron went missing, Terri sent her biological older son, James, to be with his biological father. This seemed like an odd move ... I am not making judgments on how people cope with the tragedy of a missing child -- but it would prove to be a convenient event if Terri wanted to be rid of her responsibilities as a mom (sounds awful, but this happens). We must weigh this type of circumstantial evidence very carefully.
8. The father, Kaine Horman, hasn't come out in support of the stepmom. In contrast, and perhaps even disturbingly, Kaine served Terri with a restraining order and divorce papers yesterday. That is the ultimate isolating move in a relationship. If he believed she was innocent, wouldn't they be standing strong together ...? This is the most damaging "evidence" of all (evidence of discord between the two people who, seemingly, should know each other best). If Kaine doesn't trust Terri at this moment and wants her out of his life -- what are we to think?
In summary, I hope you will carefully review evidence -- as I always do -- before coming to conclusions. When this story first hit the airwaves, I cautioned not to judge the stepmom without the facts. I now humbly do ask you to weigh her actions only based ON current facts.