A former elementary school teacher, Terri is "really good with kids," her dad tells PEOPLE

By Eunice Oh
June 30, 2010 01:00 PM
Credit: FBI; Landov

More than three weeks ago, Terri Moulton Horman had what many would call an ideal life.

Married with three kids – James, 16, Kiara, 18 months, and stepson Kyron, 7 – the stay-at-home mom frequently read aloud to her children and planned family outings and trips. And when she wasn’t running a “loving” home, as friends and family describe, she volunteered at Kyron’s Portland-area school.

But the former elementary school teacher now finds herself under intense scrutiny – heightened ever since police started focusing their attention on the 40-year-old, who has also taken two polygraph tests.

Though Kyron’s father, Kaine Horman, initially stood by Terri, he has since moved out of the couple’s home and filed for divorce.

Kaine cited irreconcilable differences in the court documents and is seeking sole custody of the couple’s daughter, Kiara, and has also requested a restraining order, which has been sealed. The restraining order was filed after Kaine had been fully briefed by law enforcement on the ongoing investigation into his son’s disappearance.

Last weekend, a 911 call was placed from the Horman’s home at 5:46 p.m., regarding “threats” at the property,” The Oregonian reports. Contents of the call have not been released.

Good with Kids

Those closest to Terri – who has not been named a suspect or person of interest in Kyron’s June 4 disappearance – however, say the criticism may be uncalled for.

Her father, Larry Moulton, who recalls Horman making homemade costumes for her children on Halloween, tells PEOPLE: “She’s really good with kids.”

Terri has not spoken publicly about the incident, but those closest to her say the entire ordeal has taken a huge toll.

“She sends me text messages at random and says, ‘I miss my son; I want my son back.’ It’s heartbreaking to talk to her,’ ” friend Jennifer Jones tells PEOPLE.

And while in some situations “the finger points back at stepmoms,” says her dad, “she’s trying to be as cooperative as she can.”