By Robin Sax
Several disturbing developments have erupted in the case of missing 7-year-old Oregon boy Kyron Horman. Kyron's father, Kaine, has filed for divorce from Kyron's stepmom, Terri Moulto Horman, and has also filed a restraining order against his soon-to-be-ex-wife.
Terri has become a person of interest in the public's eye, even if authorities are not officially naming her one. Exactly why Kaine Horman has filed this restraining order isn't clear yet, because the order is now sealed (it's not available to the public). But there were two 911 calls made from the Horman home this past Saturday evening. That is a big clue. The first was a "threat" priority-two call, meaning that, according to an emergency dispatch supervisor, officers were sent in person. This gives us some insight as to the discord going on in the Horman home.
You might not realize this, but in courthouses across the country, the most-filed-for document is a restraining order. Simply put, a restraining order is a paper from a judge that tells someone to stop hurting you or threatening to hurt you. However, restraining orders are not orders that are merely rubber-stamped. They are not filed automatically and do NOT usually go with a filing for divorce. So is the request for -- and issuance of -- this order unusual or telling? YES to both.
As we gradually learn more details about the investigation of Kyron's disappearance, we see that the case is slowly zeroing in on Terri Moulton Horman. Though the release of information has been slow and minimal at best, we do know that Terri was the last person to have seen Kyron, has undergone several lie detector tests, may have made statements inconsistent with other accounts of her whereabouts, has incongruous Facebook posts and has not had outward support from family members (amongst other slivers of evidence). However, the restraining order request and the granting of said order are the most telling pieces of evidence so far. The order indicates that there has been a showing of violence, or at least some threat of violence.
For a restraining order to be issued, there must be a showing of a threat and/or a danger to one or more persons. In this case, not only was there a request for the protection of Kaine Horman himself, but also for all the children. Per the order, Terri is prevented from having contact with her children and must relinquish firearms. While the relinquishment of firearms may seem rather standard, the prevention of interacting with children is highly specific -- and highly unusual. This is not something that would be granted willy-nilly.
While there is no playbook for families on how to deal with grief, loss and sadness when a child goes missing, filing for a restraining order against a spouse is just not a normal part of the process. This is an out-of-the-ordinary event. In the weeks since Kyron went missing, we have not seen Terri once address the media or offer her story publicly. Nor has she received much support from her family or friends. As a matter of fact, even Terri's own father says there is a 50/50 chance she will get arrested. Wouldn't you expect a dad to say something like, "There is no way she did this, no chance of her getting arrested, no chance she is responsible!"? Right?
As this case unfolds, one thing after another suggests to me that, sadly, the investigation is closing in on this stepmom. The actions of Terri Moulton Horman's husband, her own father and even her own behavior suggest that Terri is indeed a person of interest in Kyron's disappearance -- and possibly even a soon-to-be suspect.
By Robin Sax