After attending a school science fair Friday morning, Kyron Horman walked down a hallway toward his classroom as his stepmother watched.
When the 7-year-old from Portland, Ore., never made it home that afternoon, his family called his elementary school. A few minutes later, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department was alerted.
The disappearance of the bespectacled second-grader has prompted a massive search by 60 trained searchers and additional volunteers. Another 65 detectives from agencies throughout the region have been brought in, along with the resources of the FBI.
“Kyron, we’re going to bring you home, buddy,” an emotional sheriff’s Capt. Jason Gates said a press conference Monday. “Nothing is more important to your family and friends.”
But despite the aggressive effort to find Kyron, authorities fear it’s still not enough.
“We definitely got a late start here,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lt. Mary Lindstrand said Saturday. “The family didn’t know that he wasn’t at school, his teacher didn’t see him, so we are feeling like we are behind the eight-ball here.”
Authorities have been combing the school grounds and the surrounding area, while investigators interviewed nearly 200 of Kyron’s classmates and their parents at Skyline Elementary and their parents over the weekend.
The sheriff’s department said late Sunday it was not calling the boy’s disappearance a kidnapping, but Kyron is being described as a “missing endangered child” because he was last seen more than two days ago and since search efforts had been slowed down by rainy weather, said Sheriff Daniel Stanton.
The boy’s stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, said the two were at the school together Friday morning, where she took him around to look at various science fair projects. At approximately 8:45 a.m., she said she saw the boy, who was last seen wearing a black “CSI” shirt and dark cargo pants, walk to his classroom.
Staff at the elementary school said they did not see Kyron after that, but authorities have been reviewing photos and video taken at the science fair. One photo shows Kyron smiling in front of his project on the red-eyed tree frog.
In addition to its Behavioral Analysis Unit, the FBI has dispatched its Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team, reports the Associated Press, though this does not mean authorities have determined an abduction has taken place, the FBI said.