Officials defend search efforts, dive teams search Sauvie Island

Officials defend search efforts, dive teams search Sauvie Island »Play Video
Divers with the Multnomah County Dive Team search the waters on Sauvie Island Monday as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Kyron Horman.

TIP LINE - (503) 261-2847

PORTLAND, Ore. - The search for Kyron Horman saw a big surge in resources last Wednesday and authorities defended on Monday the timing of that surge which didn’t happen until six days after the boy disappeared.

While Multnomah County sheriff’s Capt. Jason Gates didn't answer questions about the quickness of the search effort on camera, off camera he strongly said they had a “powerhouse” of resources starting Friday, June 4, the day Kyron vanished from Skyline School.

He said initially they had no reason to believe that they wouldn’t find Kyron within the first hours that weekend.

Gates said during the 10 days of searching, 1,300 searchers and over 200 detectives from 42 agencies across the West Coast helped. As searchers ruled out where Kyron wasn’t, the scope of the search expanded.

Gates said deputies reacted quickly to the report that the 7-year-old was missing.

Skyline School’s secretary called 9-1-1 at about 4 p.m. Police were on the scene by 4:30, and the FBI was notified by 8:30 p.m.

The search then expanded six days after Kyron disappeared, and the Klamath County sheriff, Tim Evinger who has extensive experience in searches, came up from Southern Oregon to coordinate the surge of additional searchers.

Bruce McCain, a retired captain with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office said on Monday the sheriff’s office reacted quickly. He said it just takes time to realize, given the resources, that the search needs to be expanded.

“The natural progression of something like this is to start with your resources, and if you can’t handle it, like a fire department and this has gone to additional alarms, we now need help from outside the agency.”

McCain also spoke about the timeline the day Kyron disappeared and said deputies faced a challenge just getting to the area in rural Multnomah County during rush hour traffic.
He said, however, the bigger issue is the seven hours between when Kyron was last seen and reported missing.

“From 8:45 to early afternoon, that’s the real critical piece that when all the armchair quarterbacks look back at this, they’re going to say, what happened in that six to seven hours?” McCain said.

A deputy the Friday night on the day Kyron disappeared told a reporter that because of the seven-hour gap, they were already at a disadvantage in the search for the boy.

Gates said they will critique everything that was done during this search and look at what worked and what didn’t.

The search for Kyron is now being called the largest search and rescue effort in Oregon history.

Divers search in Sauvie Island Waters

Meanwhile, the search continued.

Divers were spotted from the air in waist-deep and chest-deep water in the afternoon at Sauvie Island, and authorities confirmed late in the afternoon that it was part of the search for Kyron. They said tips led them to search the area but would not elaborate.

The Multnomah County Dive Team moved methodically along the Multnomah Channel and checked the water and debris along the river bank. A short time later they packed into vehicles and moved to another area a short distance away.  One searcher was spotted using a metal probe to poke into the water and through the waist-high grass of a marshy area.

Gates with the Multnomah Country Sheriff’s office appeared at an 11 a.m. news conference and said the search was being largely scale back as the investigation moved to the next stage. The investigation is now a criminal investigation with a $25,000 reward.

"This process is not over," Gates said. "This will not become a cold case."

Gates said deputies will canvass neighborhoods again as well as re-interview students, parents and anyone who works at Skyline.

He said crews will still search key areas and respond to tips, and the search won’t stop until Kyron is found.

“We as an investigative team, the sheriff’s office, and all the people that are directly involved in this effort are resolute in bringing Kyron home,” Gates said.

Gates thanked the hundreds of professional searchers, most of them volunteers, who contributed to the search. He also thanked media outlets for their coverage and all those who supported the search effort.

Multnomah County sheriff’s Capt. Monte Reiser said Sunday, “We will keep a contingent of search and rescue crews on call to respond to any tip or investigative lead that needs to be check out."

Police Seek Surveillance Video

As part of the investigation, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is requesting surveillance video from nearby storefronts, private homes, security cameras or any other surveillance recording from June 3 and June 4. They are specifically looking for video of vehicular traffic from the following locations (also see the two maps below):

  • Northwest Cornelius Pass Road
  • Northwest Germantown Road
  • Northwest Logie Trail Road
  • Northwest Rocky Point Road
  • Northwest Skyline Road
  • Northwest 185th Avenue
  • Northwest West Union Road
  • Northwest Springville Road
  • Bethany Boulevard
  • Northwest Springville Road
  • Northwest Newberry Road
  • Northwest McNamee Road
  • Highway 30 from Northwest Rock Point to Germantown Road
  • Northwest Kaiser Road
  • Northwest Thompson Road
  • Northwest Laidlaw Road

Anyone with video of those areas is asked to contact the sheriff's office tip line at (503) 261-2847. Leave your name, contact information and identify the specific location or street address of the video footage.


"As of today, through the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, we will be offering a reward of up to $25,000 for any information that leads to the location of Kyron," said Staton.

If you have information you think might help in the investigation, call the tip line at (503) 261-2847.

Prayer Vigil

A prayer vigil for Kyron is scheduled for June 15 at 7 p.m. It will be held at Sunset Presbyterian Church at 14986 N.W. Cornell Road.


KATU News reporters Anita Kissée and Adam Ghassemi contributed to this report.