Family pleads for Kyron's return, deputies highlight clothing

Family pleads for Kyron's return, deputies highlight clothing »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - Officials searching for Kyron Horman displayed clothes similar or identical to those that the missing boy was wearing the day he disappeared. Family members also took time to read two statements.

It has been a week since the 7-year-old seemingly vanished from the small grade school located on the outskirts of Portland in rolling hills dotted with farms and homes.

Capt. Monte Reiser also said he and search members were still committed to the search effort despite the lack of any publicly announced solid leads over the week. He said that despite the time that has passed, searchers were even more comitted to finding Kyron.

Reiser showed the shoes, socks, pants and shirt that Kyron was photographed wearing at a science fair just before he disappeared. The shirt featured graphics from the TV show "gray Crime Scene Investigation."

Other clothing items included grey cargo-style pants, white socks and Sketchers-brand shoes. Kyron also wears glasses but those were not presented at the press conference.

Family members, unseen since Kyron disappeared, attended a press conference and the both Kyron's father and stepfather read statements. His mother and stepmother did not speak but remained in the background.

Text of the message read by Tony Young, Kyron's step-father.

Hello my name is Tony Young and I am Kyron’s stepfather. The family has asked me to speak on their behalf today. We would just like to say Kyron we miss you, love you and need you home right now. We are doing everything we can with law enforcement and the search and rescue crews to make sure you can get back to us as soon as possible. We want to say how much we appreciate the love and support, prayer and thoughts as we wait for you.Your school friends and their families, the teachers and the staff at your school and the community as a whole have shown how much impact one little boy’s smile can have on a community.You mean everything to us and until you come home this family is not complete. Please Kyron keep up the hope. We believe in you and we know you will be back with us soon.

Text of the message read by Kaine Horman, Kyron's father:

Hi I’m Kaine, Kyron’s father. We want to thank the community, the parents, the children, the bus drivers and all those who are being interviewed multiple times to try to find Kyron. Thank you. We as a family know how difficult and stressful this is. By your memories and statements can help us find Kyron. We will never be able to thank you enough for that help.  Finally, we would like to thank the media.  If it was not for you showing Kyron on every newscast, printing his story in the papers, his face would not be known to everyone. People from around the nation have seen his picture, this helps tremendously. Please help us bring Kyron home.

Search crews continue to look in the areas around the school. Capt. Reiser said that over 200 professional searchers were working to find Kyron on Friday.

Reiser also advised the public to be vigilant and keep an eye out for Kyron or any suspicious activity during the upcoming weekend, when warm weather is expected to bring many people outdoors after a long stretch of damp days.


 PORTLAND, Ore. - The National Guard deployed its UH-60 helicopter Thursday to aid in the search of missing Skyline School second grader Kyron Horman as more searchers joined the effort to discover the whereabouts of the boy missing since last Friday.

Watch Thursday's 4 p.m. news conference

“The search involved both assisting active engagements on the ground crew and then they had active search and rescue personnel onboard identifying areas of interest for the search,” said Lt. Col Marti Plotner, with the Oregon National Guard during an afternoon news conference on the seventh day of the search effort.

He said the helicopter will also be used on Friday beginning at 9 a.m.

He gave few details about where the helicopter flew except he did confirm it did fly in the area of the school, but he declined to say if the helicopter flew anywhere else.

He said the helicopter is equipped with cameras and FLIR, which is an infrared camera.

The UH-60 has a crew of three which includes two pilots and a crew chief.

He said the National Guard assist over 100 searchers across Oregon every year.

Searchers that answered a Wednesday call for help wasted no time on Thursday jumping into the search for Kyron. The searchers from 18 counties that sent help combed the woods around the school again and searched new areas as well.

As they look for Kyron they said they are trying to think like a second grader and asked themselves where he might go and what he might do.

Searchers from Josephine County worked step by step in a dreary rain Thursday, walking in a line and into thick brush near Kyron’s home.

Not only did searchers look for Kyron but they also looked for clues.

“When they search through areas they’re looking for any kind of debris or clothing, or shoes, or shoeprints – something that would indicate that somebody’s been through there recently,” said Mike Fulk a volunteer with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.

He said the search conditions aren’t ideal.

“Lots of hills and trees, valleys, gullies - lot of it’s pretty overgrown.”

Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger, who came up from Southern Oregon to coordinate the influx of new searchers, said he hadn’t lost hope the boy was still alive.

“We’re looking for a little boy, and we’re looking for a little boy who may still be out there and alive and needs our assistance,” he said.
   
During the afternoon news conference authorities also spoke about the reason they’ve released little information about the search.

“Early release of information can affect the operational integrity of the investigation,” Multnomah County Capt. Monte Reiser said. “New and incoming information is often unconfirmed and needs substantiating prior to release.”

Investigators said they still want people to search their properties, but they said they don’t want people coming to the actual site to help. Reiser said right now it must be left up to the professionals.

“We appreciate the offer to assist us,” he said. “That being said, we have resources we are using. Those have been coming in steadily. It’s always best to use, number one, trained searchers; secondly, those that are very familiar with the incident command structure and the standards that have been in place by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association. These searchers are trained and understand the expectations. And they’re experienced.”

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday also issued a temporary no-fly zone for all aircraft in a three-mile radius of the school and up to 3,000 feet.

Authorities said they also have completed 100 percent of their interviews with the students at Skyline.

The state law that guides search and rescue operations was passed in 2007 after authorities were criticized for the way they conducted the search for James Kim. The Californian disappeared in Southern Oregon in 2006 and was ultimately found dead of exposure.

An ensuing review of the search by the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association concluded that the effort was marked by crossed signals and several people trying to take charge of the search.

The concerns led to legislation streamlining communications among search and rescue units.

Kyron disappeared after a science fair he attended with his stepmother, who said she last saw him as he walked down a hallway toward his second-grade classroom wearing a "CSI" T-shirt and dark cargo pants. Authorities said the last reported sighting of Kyron was at about 9 a.m., but they have refused to say who made that sighting.

The search began after the boy did not come home on the school bus and his stepmother called 911 at about 3:45 p.m.
 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Earlier Thursday news story

NIGEL DUARA Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A National Guard helicopter and searchers on horses joined about 125 volunteers on Thursday slogging through the rain-soaked brush and steep woods around a Portland school where a 7-year-old boy vanished nearly a week ago.

Authorities reported no results in their search and investigation into the disappearance of second-grader Kyron Horman from the Skyline Elementary School. He has been missing since Friday.

Sgt. Diana Olsen, search and rescue coordinator for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, said the searchers were checking an area within a two-mile radius of the school, an expansion from their previous efforts of a half-mile of intense ground searches.

Olsen said the searchers are "still going full ahead," though the constant rain and colder temperatures were taking a toll.

"They're wearing out, their numbers are dropping," Olsen said at a press conference on Thursday.

The certified volunteers will be assisted by search teams from around the state, who authorities called for on Wednesday under the allowances of a 2007 law that sets standards for search and rescue efforts.

The additional search and rescue teams came just in time, Olsen said. The certified volunteers mostly hold full-time jobs and had to take vacation days to participate in the search.

"Those resources were dying out," Olsen said.

The teams from across the state will check back roads and powerline clearings, comb some areas for a second time and explore new areas at the margin of the search area.

Kyron disappeared after a science fair he attended with his stepmother, who said she last saw him as he walked down a hallway toward his second-grade classroom wearing a "CSI" T-shirt and dark cargo pants. Authorities said the last reported sighting of Kyron was at about 9 a.m., but they have refused to say who made that sighting.

The search began after the boy did not come home on the school bus and his stepmother called 911 at about 3:45 p.m.

Capt. Jason Gates of the sheriff's office said he wouldn't describe Thursday's efforts as a "last push" but indicated earlier in the week that he hoped to scale back the operation at the end of the week.

"I'm not going to put a time when we're going to scale down," Gates said. "The longer it goes, the more critical it becomes."

The state law that guides search and rescue operations was passed in 2007 after authorities were criticized for the way they conducted the search for James Kim. The Californian disappeared in Southern Oregon in 2006 and was ultimately found dead of exposure.

An ensuing review of the search by the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association concluded that the effort was marked by crossed signals and several people trying to take charge of the search.

The concerns led to legislation streamlining communications among search and rescue units.

Gates said Thursday that the law did not include a timeline for when other search and rescue teams should be called in, saying that decision is "case-specific."


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


News conference/Press release from Multnomah County Sheriff's Office:

Good Afternoon. I'm Capt. Jason Gates, and I am the Incident Commander for today in the continuing search for Kyron.

This morning, we are engaged in an expanding search effort on multiple fronts. While we continue to receive information and move forward with investigative leads, at this time we have no further information to release specific to the investigation. We do however, have new information for you on our expanding search and rescue efforts.

This morning, new search and rescue crews joined the more than 500 members from 18 Oregon Counties already committed to the search of the area surrounding Skyline Elementary school. A complete list of involved agencies can be found on the public website www.flashalert.net/news. We are incredibly appreciative of the tremendous resources brought to bear from our partnering agencies, and are thankful for the ongoing cooperation we share with police, Sheriff's offices many other government agencies across the state for not only search and rescue operations but statewide transport, investigations and other public safety services.

This search continues our original mission. We are searching areas based on information received, completing ongoing detailed searches of areas including back roads, power lines, re-search of areas near the school and expanding searches along our perimeter coinciding with our increased "boot on the ground" resources, keeping with the natural progression of this search operation. The expansion of our ground resources to this point works to keep our probability of detection high.

I would now like to turn this briefing over to Sgt. Diana Olsen, Deputy Shawn Richards and Col. Marti Plotner to talk about our search operations to this point:

Sgt. Diana Olsen, Multnomah County SAR Coordinator:

Our continuing search operations have required relief for many of our searches. Today's statewide response has allowed us to put 125 new searchers in the field today. We have also put horses into the field to assist with access to restrictive areas and to more efficiently search large areas like power line trails. We continue to deploy ground searchers and canine assets. We are only using certified searchers, and have a sufficient number at this point to staff our search operations.

Col. Plotner, Director of Military Support to the Oregon National Guard:

We are here to assist Multnomah County in this effort to find Kyron Horman. We have aerial and ground assets which can be brought forward to support first-responders and incident commanders during search and rescue operations such as these.
We are utilizing an Oregon Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk to aid civilian authorities and searchers in order to help locate Kyron.


Capt. Gates:

We continue to receive support from not only our partnering agencies, but local groups, business and individual concerned citizens. This support has been overwhelming. We continue to seek any information you may have as this effort continues. Again, this is all about bringing Kyron home. We are doing everything we logically can toward that end.