PORTLAND, Ore. – Investigators have made progress recently in the case of missing boy Kyron Horman, according to sources.
Those hints of progress came after prosecutors suddenly convinced a judge to put a halt to a civil suit brought by Kyron's biological mother, Desiree Young. Prosecutors claimed the suit could hurt their investigation.
On the surface, the legal maneuvering could mean investigators have some promising new clues, but it could also mean they're playing defense trying to stop the civil suit so the lawyers for Kyron's stepmother, Terri Horman, don't learn what evidence and leads investigators have implicating her in Kyron's disappearance.
Here's the chain of events that triggered this latest legal move:
In June, Desiree Young filed the $10 million civil suit against Terri Horman, hoping to force Horman and her friend Dede Spicher to testify under oath about what happened to Kyron two and a half years ago.
But Spicher invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 140 times during a recent deposition. A judge was getting close to ruling whether Spicher can remain silent and that's when the Multnomah County district attorney and sheriff's office asked the judge to halt the civil case before she could be forced to take the stand, triggering immunity in a criminal case.
Officially, investigators aren't saying what new leads they have, but in court records Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Underhill wrote that "premature disclosure of the information ... could jeopardize that on-going investigation."
According to sources, investigators have made progress recently on two fronts: Expanding on leads from soon after Kyron disappeared as well as new information.
Lawyer and former sheriff's captain, Bruce McCain, has been analyzing the case. He's been waiting for the district attorney to step in.
"This has less to do with new smoking gun evidence than it does to making sure that the civil process is stopped in its tracks before it gets any further and starts digging into details the district attorney doesn't want revealed," he said. "The last thing the Multnomah County investigators and district attorney want is for Stephen Houze (Terri Horman's attorney) to start interviewing and deposing under oath people like Desiree Young, Tony Young and other witnesses asking them what they've learned from the investigators."
The exact reason why the DA and sheriff asked for the civil case to be shelved is under seal by the judge. He issued a nine-month delay.
Young said Wednesday her lawyer instructed her to not say anything about this.
She can try to change the judge's mind at the end of the nine-month delay he put on her case.
Recent court documents: