"Whoever has taken Kyron is still out there and could be after her, too," says Kyron's stepmother's friend

By Elaine Aradillas
August 18, 2010 10:00 AM

DeDe Spicher, the “mystery woman” in the Kyron Horman case, says her friend Terri Horman was in a crisis of grief and fear in the weeks following her 7-year-old stepson’s disappearance on June 4.

“We were very worried for her life. There were death threats against her. And again, whoever has taken Kyron is still out there and could be after her, too,” Spicher, 43, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive new interview.

A longtime friend of Terri’s, Spicher stayed with her for 11 days beginning June 28, shortly after Terri’s wife Kaine left her. “When Terri’s parents had to leave to go back home, they asked if I would stay with her to help keep her safe,” she says. “And I said of course I would.”

She continues: “I dropped everything I was doing, and I went to see what my friend needed. And that’s when I learned she had been served with the divorce papers, there was a restraining order and a story about a murder-for-hire or something. So, it was clear that she was very distraught.”

RELATED: ‘Mystery Woman’ DeDe Spicher Defends Stepmom in Kyron Horman Case

In Crisis Mode

Spicher describes being in “crisis mode” with Terri during that time at her home outside Portland, Ore. They tried to avoid the media circus during the day – with no cable TV, they looked at articles online, but learned to avoid the reader comments – and guarded against any potential intruders at night.

Horman slept upstairs, while Spicher stayed downstairs, closest to the door. “I was trying to find a way to protect us if someone should come in, and the only thing I could think of was my fire extinguisher in my car,” she says. “So, I slept with my fire extinguisher next to the bed.”

The pair also assumed they were under surveillance. “Any conversations that we wanted to have, we’d go out into the yard,” Spicher says. “When we were in the house, we’d talk about the kids, we’d talk about her marriage, talked about her family.”

Worried About Both Kids

Terri Horman and Spicher have both come under scrutiny in the case – they are even the subject of a recent new police flyer – but Spicher has said they have nothing to hide. And she adds that Terri’s main concern has been her children, including her 20-month-old daughter Kiara, who has been staying with her estranged husband Kaine.

“She would go through some of [Kyron’s] old drawings, some pictures, and she would go through photos and albums of him and Kiara,” Spicher says. “She was very sad and worried about both of them. I can’t even begin to understand what that must’ve felt like.”

RELATED: New Flyer in Kyron Horman Case Focuses on Stepmom and Her Friend