E-mails and text messages expressing hatred for an 8-year-old Oregon boy missing since June suggest the boy’s stepmother “could have hurt him in the worst possible way,” the child’s tearful biological mother said Monday.
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Before police shared the messages with her on Friday, Desiree Young would only say that she believed her ex-husband’s wife, Terri Horman, was withholding information about the disappearance of Young’s son, Kyron Horman, who would now be age 8. But during an exclusive interview Monday, Young told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira she is convinced more than ever that Terri Horman was involved and holds the key to solving the mystery.
“It’s very clear from Terri’s horrible words that she had a severe hatred for Kyron,” Young, choked with emotion, said.
Speaking at press conference at Kyron’s “Wall of Hope” later in the day, Young’s ex-husband, Kaine Horman, echoed the sentiments against Terri Horman. “We’re dealing with someone who is a master of deception, misdirection, and she’s bringing it forward in spades,” said Kyron’s father.
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Kyron Horman disappeared June 4 after his stepmother dropped him off at school; investigators have focused on his stepmother.
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Police have not officially named Terri Horman a suspect in the case, and she has not been charged. So far, police have found no trace of Kyron, who was last seen at a school science fair that Terri Horman drove him to on June 4. He was reported missing when he failed to return home that afternoon on the school bus.
Young’s interview on TODAY Monday was her first appearance on the show without her ex-husband. She is angry that Kaine apparently knew about the messages obtained by police, but never told her about them.
Young is also angry because she says her ex-husband never told her that Terri, whom he is in the process of divorcing, allegedly got drunk and passed out on the couch several nights a week.
Kaine Horman made those charges in court papers filed in connection with the divorce. Terri Horman’s lawyer responded in filings that the allegations are “vicious” and calculated to “poison” the public against Terri.
Even before she learned of the alleged alcohol abuse, Young did not have a high opinion of Terri Horman, whom she described as a “pathological” liar.
“She blamed a lot of the marital problems between Kaine and herself on Kyron; it was a huge point of contention in their marriage,” Young told Vieira. “She had expressed in great detail her hatred of Kyron.
“I now believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that not only is she capable of hurting Kyron, it is clear that she could have hurt him in the worst possible way.”
Asked why Kaine Horman was not at her side Monday as he has been for other media appearances since their son disappeared, Young said she is “disappointed” with her ex-husband’s “choices” and his decision to withhold information from her about Kyron’s relationship with Terri Horman.Video: Dateline NBC: Why Terri Horman is keeping quiet
“We are still a united front in the goal that we want Kyron home. We want answers. That hasn’t changed,” Young said. “I personally have learned of information lately that has disappointed me in Kaine’s choices in his behavior. I just can’t stand by and support the choices he is making.”Video: Mom: Stepmom had ‘severe hatred’ for Kyron (on this page)
Holding on to hope
Young said she tried to get custody of Kyron about a year before he disappeared, but was unsuccessful. She told Vieira she did not know at the time that Terri Horman had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 or that Kaine was concerned about the effect his second wife’s drinking and behavior were having on Kyron and the Hormans’ toddler, Kiara.
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“Kyron told me on many occasions he wanted to come live me. Terri personally wanted me to take Kyron,” Young said.
“Do you still hold out hope that your son is alive?” Vieira asked.
“I will until the day I die,” Young said.
On Sunday, police and divers searched the waters surrounding Sauvie Island, a small island near the Horman home, for potential clues to Kyron’s fate. It was the first time that searchers had been back on the island for about a month. A spokesperson for the local sheriff’s office told the media that the search, which turned up nothing, was not the result of any new tips or information.
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