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Eight Reasons Kyron Horman's Stepmom Might Be Guilty

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Attorney Robin Sax: As momlogic reported this morning, Kaine Horman (Kyron Horman's father) filed for divorce from Terri Moulton Horman yesterday. He also served her with a restraining order.

My first reaction to the Kyron Horman disappearance was, "We don't have to automatically blame the stepmom without any evidence." In the case of a missing kid (in any case, actually), it is critical not to rush to judgment and cast blame until due diligence is gathered.

Terri Moulton Horman

There are two ways to approach a case. One is where we look at evidence to lead us to a perp, and the other is where we look at a perp and dig for evidence. It is always best practice to look at the evidence naturally, weighing the inner circles first and moving outward from there.

At this point in the investigation, I think suspicions about stepmom Terri Horman are more than warranted, as the evidence is stacking up in the court of opinion. While Terri is not officially a suspect or person of interest on any law enforcement lists (yet), I do believe she is very much a person of public interest.

Let us examine some of the known facts gathered in the last weeks:

1) Terri was the last person to be with Kyron before he disappeared almost a month ago.

2) Terri was the person who reported Kyron missing.

3) The police said that the community "need not be in fear for their kids' safety." (This is a strong indicator that the police don't believe a deranged predator is on the loose, and that, rather, they view Kyron's disappearance as an isolated incident -- i.e., he may have known the person who took him, and there may be a unique motivation for this specific crime.)

4) Soon after Kyron vanished, Terri allegedly wrote on her Facebook page that she was "hitting the gym." It should be noted that officials told the family to "continue their normal routine"; however, if her state of mind was truly grief-stricken, wouldn't you expect a post like "talking a walk..." or "trying to work out today" -- something softer than "hitting the gym," which just sounds so flippant and normal? Compare Terri's statement to the one made in the open letter Desiree Young (Kyron's biological mother) wrote to her son right after he went missing. Desiree -- who did not have custody of the boy, but saw him every weekend -- expressed to Kyron how much she missed him and just wanted to hug him. Now, please do not misunderstand me. I am a stepmom myself, so I know just how much love a stepmom can have for her kids. I'm not suggesting it has anything to do with the "step" part of Terri's mom-title. Just look at their different behaviors, and you'll see a significant difference in their reactions. 

5) Terri has been grilled extensively by police, and her car has been taken in for evidence. This definitely raises eyebrows for me.

6) Investigators in the case determined that Terri may not have been where she professed to be when Kyron vanished. Instead of being at Kyron's school, cell-phone records indicate that Terri was actually on Sauvie Island, which is located five miles from the boy's school. Law enforcement officials have been searching that area for about a week.

7) Right after Kyron went missing, Terri sent her biological older son, James, to be with his biological father. This seemed like an odd move. I am not making judgments on how people cope with the tragedy of a missing child, but that action would be convenient if Terri wanted to be rid of her responsibilities as a mom (sounds awful, but this happens). We must weigh this type of circumstantial evidence very carefully.  

8) Kyron's father, Kaine Horman, hasn't come out in support of Terri. In contrast, and perhaps even disturbingly, he served her with a restraining order and divorce papers yesterday (as mentioned above). That is the ultimate isolating move in a relationship. If Kaine believed Terri was innocent, wouldn't they be standing strong together ...? This is the most damaging "evidence" of all (evidence of discord between the two people who, seemingly, should know each other best). If Kaine doesn't trust Terri at this moment and wants her out of his life -- what are we to think? 

In summary, I hope you will carefully review the evidence -- as I always do -- before coming to conclusions. When this story first hit the airwaves, I cautioned people not to judge the stepmom without the facts. I now humbly ask you to weigh her actions based only on the current facts.  

next: What Will You Do With Your '168 Hours'?
99 comments so far | Post a comment now
Laura June 29, 2010, 3:59 PM

I have a couple of theories:

1. Someone has discovered that Terri took out a life insurance policy on Kyron.
2. Perhaps Terri’s biological son did something to Kyron, Terri was told by Kyron and killed him to protect her elder biological son, then sent her older biological son to his biological father because she feared her son might be dangerous to her little daughter.

Does anyone know anything about Terri’s older biological son?

Denise June 29, 2010, 4:11 PM

I haven’t been following this closely, but I would agree that something smells fishy. I remember watching the Kaylee Anthony Case and thinking all the while that that mother had something to do with it. Now I am not saying this happens in every missing child case, but it seems more often than not in cases like this, it’s a family member. It’s sad. I just can’t imagine a parent (or step parent) for that matter hurting their child.

Good thoughts!

pak31  June 29, 2010, 4:16 PM

Great article. You sum it up nicely. I have felt from almost the start, that Terri was suspicious. Never did I think that because she is a stepmother. A lot of people are offended that she’s being targeted because of being the stepmom. But when I read that she has been in Kyrons life since day 1, I felt that played in her favor. I think her words and actions have said it all. I don’t care what her “title” is, it was the way she acted that caught me and most of the followers of this case from the get go.

Laura June 29, 2010, 4:18 PM

I wonder if forensic computer experts found that the photo Terri took at the science fair was altered.

But I’m still thinking that an insurance policy is part of the tragedy.

Anonymous June 29, 2010, 4:27 PM

If I am not mistaken, the older son was sent away (first to maternal grandparents, and then to biological parents) well before Kyron went missing.

Jordan June 29, 2010, 4:35 PM

Multnomah Co. Sherriff’s Dept also leaked the plan for what they will do if / when she is taken imto custody. I doubt they make action plans like that randomly.

Linda June 29, 2010, 4:42 PM

I think Teri is guilty, but not the reason for Kyron being missing.
I think Teri was on Sauvie Island to meet a lover. I also think that is why Kaine came home early. He has suspected something has been going on.
With Kyron going missing she has tried to cover the fact that she has been having an afair.But the Le questions have forced her to admit her afair.
I still believe that Kyron was taken by a preditor,or,,, there is another child from the school involved. Maybe someone who bullied him. The afair makes sence hence the divorce and the protective order. I think she got home that evening and Kaine was waiting on her at the bus stop. Kyron being missing was just a fluke as far as her part in it.

Marena June 29, 2010, 4:51 PM

First let me say: I do not know if she did it or not. It is not looking good for her though.

A few things:

2. Actually the father was with Terri (and their 18 month daughter) when they went to the bus stop to meet Kyron. He worked 1/2 day and came home for the rest of the day. So they were both there when it was reported.

4. Yes the police said in the live interview that they told them to go (Again both the father and step-mother went. There are pictures of them coming out of the gym together). While I think it was tacky for her to post, I do not understand why she is the only getting blamed for this, when they both did it? As for why they went, Terri used to be a body builder. I do think it was something she should not have posted about.

8. Not true, he supported her in a number of interviews, including the one on Friday. It was due to this that I was shocked by the report last night that he was divorcing her and had a restraining order against her. It makes me think that the police may have divulged some information to him that he did not have before.

Again, I don’t know if she is guilty or not but I had to comment on some of the misinformation.

elizabethbennett June 29, 2010, 4:53 PM

there’s also….

1. the teacher says terri had told the teacher or school the lad would be at the doctor that friday june 4 versus, terri now says, the advance doctor notice was for friday june 11…

2. she dropped the toddler off at a friend’s house that morning….

3. she was a facebook “treasure hunt” fanatic, and it has emerged that kaine’s father and family had some kind of family traditio of an “island treasure hunt” game or tradition involving hidden places on an island, perhaps even sauvie island. this, along with all the evidence pertaining to her enthusiam expressed on the internet for “dexter,” “csi,” and the book “enter a murderer.” this stuff is completely worthless in court, but it’s hinky as hell.

4. she wasn’t just facebooking about “hitting the gym.” she was giving out “LOLs” and “muah”s, and ebullient comments and compliments to other posters that sounded elated and excited before the page was pulled. yes, people react weirdly to trauma and stress, but the hinky details are kind of piling up.

my own theory is that she was up to shenanigans with her older son, or one of his friends, and kyron found out about it, perhaps didn’t even know what he saw, and…….

there is something about her that reminds me of those female teachers in about her age group who have been jailed for messing with teenage boys. they are all small-town types who seem to think they are far more fascinating and charismatic than their surroundings, and that they should have far more excitement than their dull little suburban lives are giving them, and that is very much the vibe that comes off of “Red Squirrel,” as she apparently called herself on the internet….

Linda June 29, 2010, 5:09 PM

If she dropped off the toddler, does anyone know if the friend babysitting noticed Kyron with her??
That should be something that was easily checked.

gracie99 June 29, 2010, 5:25 PM

Another theory:

If the stepmom had some inkling that a divorce or separation were in the offing, she might have anticipated, as a non-biological parent would, a tough fight to retain any custody rights at all for Kyron.

Out of fear of that, she may have sent Kyron to live with a friend or relative far away, thinking she could reclaim him eventually.

That would have been more than a little nutty, but she could have been stressed to the point of thinking that was the best plan of action.

I’m hoping that was it, and that in a day or two, Kyron will turn up alive and well at the home of some step-great-uncle in rural Iowa.

praying4kyron June 29, 2010, 6:17 PM

Since her baby is 18 months old, I wondered if she has postpartum psychosis.

Elizabeth in this thread mentions CSI — aha, so that explains why a 7 year old would have a CSI t-shirt (what he as wearing in the science fair photo). At least to me, that’s out of the question /inappropriate.

Didn’t anybody see him at school that day at all?

Me June 29, 2010, 6:19 PM

Things don’t look good for her… that’s for sure. I’m sure the police know far more than they’ve said and it will all come out eventually. Things do really point towards the step mom though. Another thing that struck me when I was reading the mom’s facebook page is that the little 18 month old little daughter seems to be her little princess that she can’t talk enough about where Kyron seemed to be talked about very little and when he was I thought the comments were pretty cold versus the doting updates and picture comments she left regarding the little girl. Makes me wonder if she, deep down, wasn’t too fond of poor Kyron.

candy June 29, 2010, 6:34 PM

I have to laugh at Ms. Saks urging US to use “due diligence”, etc., in this case, when she recently put out an APB on John Mark Karr, based on alleged statements to a former girlfriend of his, and no one else, when he had nothing whatsoever to do with the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey. There isn’t a shred of evidence pointing towards him in that case, but you would never know it from the hysterical reaction of Ms. Saxs. Like here, it’s the mother, Patsy Ramsey, who was the prime suspect, but Ms. Saxs chose to give attention to a media loving pedophile.

M in Ontario June 29, 2010, 6:34 PM

It is easy to pick apart a grieving parent’s behaviour and find oddities. Things don’t look good for Terri, but the rush to convict her in the court of public opinion is bothersome to me, and brings to mind last years disappearance of Victoria Stafford in Ontario, Canada. Her poor mom was dragged through hell in this court. She was a poor, single mom, who had a less than pefect background. But she was in the end innocent (the killers were a couple, she barely knew)… and I can only think of the heartache she had to deal with, with not only the loss of her precious baby, but the months of dealing with the public’s accusations and picking apart of her every word and move while she tried to care for a son and put one foot in front of the other.

Sadly, I don’t believe Kyron is coming back home, and I sincerely hope she is not involved for the sake of her other kids. Let’s not rush to judgement so fast.

lizwetzel June 29, 2010, 11:14 PM

I agree with the theory that she probably has a lover thus she lied about not being in island.

I dont think she can harm the kid, my mom adopted a newborn and we would never harm him, its like having your own son.

Its odd to me that father went half day off that day.

I would bet, he was taken by a pedophile.

allen June 29, 2010, 11:38 PM

Laura, I understand that at the time he went missing, Kyron’s dad and the stepmother’s older son were on a camping trip and not in town. There is absolutely no evidence that Terri’s son had anything to do with Kyron’s disappearance. Request that you and others not offer such wild and reckless speculation.

sharon zirn June 30, 2010, 7:54 AM

I do not think #7 is correct. From what I have read, the older son of Terri went to live with biological father because of a problematic relationship with Kaine, his stepfather.

forex robot June 30, 2010, 11:18 AM

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

MOnica June 30, 2010, 4:17 PM

Firstly, I’m not as nice as you, and as soon as I heard the words “step mom” and saw her on tv avoiding eye contact - I knew. We all knew though, people tried to be nice about it, but I think it was clear from the get go.

One thing that the missing children network guy pointed out on CNN was that Terri said she walked Kyron to his classroom and then she said she waved at him. But if a mother walks her kid to classroom she’s gonna give him a hug and a kiss, she’s not gonna wave at him from such a short distance.

But I think the prove that she’s guilty comes from the restraining order the father took out after talking to police. Obviously they know she did it, but they only have circumstantial evidence at this point. They’re trying to tighten the loop so she breaks down. But they probably told the parents that Terri killed the child.

I hope one day the family finds peace as hard as it must be, and I know Kyron and this huge, infectious smile of his are in a much better place now..

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