Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

MISSING: Kyron Horman

A Fractured Family


When Kyron first went missing, the four parents and stepparents - Terri, Kaine, his biological mother Desiree Young, and her husband, Tony Young - held press conferences in tandem. They all slept at the Hormans' house. Friends, like DeDe Spicher and Michael Cook also camped out and helped in the search.

But soon, there were cracks in the family's facade. Less than a month after Kyron went missing, Kaine filed for divorce from Terri, and also filed a restraining order against her, which prevented her from seeing her two children with Horman, including her 18-month-old baby Kiara. Kaine later claimed that while he was filing the restraining order, Terri attempted to kidnap Kiara.

Terri's 2005 Mugshot
Terri's 2005 Mugshot
Terri soon moved out of the house and went to stay with family in her hometown of Roseburg. In interviews, she tried to deflect the media's questions about her unraveling family life.. Even as things were getting ugly, she told KPTV 12: "Everything's good. We heard that rumor. It's just a rumor than needs to be squelched. Everything's fine." Later, she hired a high-priced attorney to the tune of $350,000, a sum well beyond the family's means.

As the divorce moved forward, it became clear that this fracture ran deep.

In court documents, Kaine argued his case for the removal of his infant daughter from the custody of his soon-to-be ex-wife. "I believe that any contact that Respondent has with our daughter will be detrimental and will jeopardize her physical safety and emotional well-being."

Then, Kaine dropped a series of bombshells. He alleged that Terri's behavior in the weeks leading up to Kyron's disappearance had been cause for concern. Chiefly, he claimed that she was a depressed functioning alcoholic whose erratic sleep patterns had affected their younger child's sleep schedule. He also claimed that Terri's behavior had caused her 16-year old son to move in with her parents, the teen's grandparents. It was true that she'd been convicted of drunk driving and reckless endangerment in 2005.

Some of his other claims took further aim at her character. A former bodybuilder, Terri was an acknowledged exercise fanatic and spent a lot of time at the gym. Kaine stated: "When she was at the gym she would leave Kiara in the gym daycare for hours at a time (I now know that at the gym she would flirt and chat with other gym members rather than exercising)."

Duly noted in the court document is the fact that Terri failed two polygraph tests regarding questions about Kyron. (Terri fired back that polygraph tests are not permissible in court and are not defacto "proof" of lying.)

He also claimed that Terri had begun an affair. He said she had been sending sexy text messages and nude photos to their friend, Michael Cook, which he said was shocking behavior during such a bereaved time. The texts were not independently verified.

Of all the reasons Kaine insisted that the children stay with him, one accusation was the most loaded: "I had been informed that Respondent attempted to hire a third-party to murder me."

Kaine Harmon with Kyron
Kaine Harmon with Kyron
The Oregonian had reported that a landscaper told police he'd been offered $10,000 to do away with Kaine, seven months prior to Kyron's disappearance. The police attempted to secure the information by getting the landscaper to wear a wire and engage her in conversation, but their chat was brief and inconclusive. Terri Moulton Horman has always denied such a plot existed.

Terri responded in court documents stating: "The thrust of Father's affidavit is to vilify Mother. His allegations have little or nothing to do with whether there exist appropriate conditions which Kiara can reconnect with her mother. Based on the incendiary tactics Father employed in his affidavit, it is becoming evident that Father's mission is to completely destroy and sabotage the mother/child relationship."

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