At her home in Medford, Desiree Young keeps the mementos that have meant so much to her as she's dealt with the disappearance of her son, Kyron Horman.
She cherishes one woman's sentiments the most: They are notes that are supportive and spiritual.
"They always come when I need them," she said last week during an interview.
On Saturday, it will be a year since Kyron disappeared from his elementary school in Northwest Portland.
Young refutes the idea that investigators had tunnel vision when it came to Kyron's case and that they too quickly zeroed in on his stepmother, Terri Horman, the last person known to have been seen with him at his school science fair.
"It’s Terri without a doubt," she said. "And it's not just because we’ve been focused on her, we haven't. We've looked at every single possible option. Every single one. … There's no tunnel vision. They've investigated everybody in our lives."
Former Sheriff's Capt. Bruce McCain says even a year later, it's unclear what crime may be charged. The sheriff himself, Dan Staton, says investigators are operating as if Kyron is alive, given the lack of evidence otherwise.
"That also sends a message to criminal defense lawyers, like Stephen Houze, that they themselves have reasonable doubt," McCain said. "You’re not going to see a homicide arrest or prosecution in this case as long as the chief investigator (is) saying, 'I have reasonable doubt' whether or not Kyron Horman is alive or dead."
Terri Horman has hired Houze as her attorney. She has not been named a suspect or person of interest in the case but has become the focus of the criminal investigation.
The investigation is a test of patience for Kyron's mother whose vivid dreams about her son are bittersweet.
"You pray it's going to come true," Young said. "We just want him home. I'm tired of dreaming."
On Thursday, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office announced detectives are scaling back the investigation. As of July 1 it will be reducing its Kyron unit to their lead detective along with personnel from the district attorney’s office, Department of Justice and the FBI. They emphasize they will add people as new developments come up that warrant additional resources.
Kyron's father, Kaine Horman, said Friday afternoon he's not surprised about the news that investigative resources are being drawn down. He said he expected it to happen but said it's still a very active case. He expressed a lot of confidence in law enforcement and where they’re headed in the investigation.
Also Friday, Young said she’s still sorting out how she feels about the announcement.
Both parents have agonized over the decisions they made, big and small, that led up to Kyron's disappearance.
For Kaine, it's the decision to bring Terri into their lives, and for Young, she's tormented almost daily by the fact she didn't go to her son's science fair that June 4th morning.
Still, during her interview last week, she said she's hopeful for a resolution even if her son's absence continues.
"I think they have enough evidence to do it (make an arrest) without Kyron," she said.
Friday evening, Young sent out a press release in which she said the family has thought long and hard about how to mark the anniversary of Kyron's disappearance.
She said they will spend time looking at pictures of Kyron and will dedicate a place under his favorite plum tree in the yard.
"This day will be about the good and positive that Kyron brings to our lives," Young wrote. "While we think of this last year as a tragedy, we have also been witness to the incredible good in people that makes this burden easier."
She said the family wouldn't have been able to make it through the year without the support of law enforcement, volunteers, family and all who care about bringing Kyron home.
"My belief in the goodness in people and the strength of hearts everywhere has been restored," she said. "I believe that is what will bring Kyron home to us, the goodness in people."
On Saturday night at 6:30, KATU News will bring you a special presentation on the search for Kyron. We confront his stepmother, Terri Horman, in Roseburg and take you inside Kyron's school with his father.