Kyron Horman, age 7, is as adorable as can be. And he has completely disappeared with no leads after a school science fair. Kyron was last seen at Skyline Elementary School in Portland, Ore., last Friday, June 4, 2010. He had done a project on the red-eyed tree frog. Kyron seemed happy that morning at school.
Sheriff's deputies, FBI patrols and the National Guard have all been searching for Kyron for eight days now. In addition to its Behavioral Analysis Unit, the FBI has dispatched its Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team -- although that doesn't necessarily mean the authorities have determined that an abduction has taken place. Classmates and teachers have been questioned, as well as Kyron's stepmom, Terri Moulton Horman.
As a stepmother myself, I feel horrified that his stepmom (who apparently was the last person to be with him) has been softly implicated in some media reports. I can only imagine her heartbreak and heartache at his disappearance. It also must be hard for her to be questioned. But despite my sympathy, I can't help but wonder why the family didn't come out and address the public sooner. Why didn't they immediately reach out (beg, gravel, cajole) for help finding their son? A Facebook friend of mine from college reached out to me last weekend; shouldn't we expect the parents of this missing kid to do the same?
Until their first public appearance Friday afternoon, all four of Kyron's parents (two biological, two step) had been noticeably absent from the media. That might have been because they were in shock. I have dealt with hundreds of abduction cases, and I can tell you that the range of the parents' responses are as diverse as their kids -- and the crimes themselves. So my words shouldn't be taken to mean that I think Kyron's stepmom (or any of his other parents/guardians) are guilty in any way. In this media-crazed day and age, though, parents of missing kids must connect with intelligent, media-savvy professionals who can give them guidance and help them use the media to their best advantage in the search for their missing child.
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Kyron was last seen wearing a black "CSI" shirt and dark cargo pants. If you have any information on Kyron's disappearance, please call the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office tip line at 503-261-2847.