The saga of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman
got a little more bizarre today at a news conference held this morning by the boy's family.
The event at Brooks Hill Historic Church was arranged on Wednesday by Kyron's father Kaine Horman
, biological mother Desiree Young
and her husband, Medford Police Detective Tony Young
Absent was Terri Moulton Horman
, the stepmom investigators say was the last person known to have seen Kyron before his June 4 disappearance. Kaine Horman filed for divorce and a restraining order against her earlier this week. And she's since hired star criminal defense attorney Stephen Houze
Today, Kaine Horman and the Youngs sat at the head of a table in a room filled with more than two dozen national and local reporters for print, TV and radio. As the meeting began at 10 a.m., Kaine Horman started out by explaining "the agenda." This wasn't going to be a typical press conference.
Horman said the family's goal was to make "the story" about Kyron. With news of the divorce and investigators homing in on the stepmom, media coverage (including in WW
) has increasingly focused on Kyron's troubled family
First came Horman's "ground rules," as he described them. No cameras. No recordings. Everything was off the record and couldn't be reported, unless agreed otherwise. Horman made everyone in the room agree to these rules before proceeding. And so this roomful of reporters consented, in essence, not to be reporters.
Horman then laid out how the meeting would go. They would take questions, make some phone calls (presumably to investigators, to find out what they could say in their answers), then return and make an on-the-record statement. But first, Horman wanted all the reporters he didn't know to introduce themselves.
KEX radio, KATU, The Portland Tribune
and "Inside Edition" all got the nod from Horman. But then came Shane Kavanaugh and Bryan Denson of The Oregonian
Horman said the family didn't like The Oregonian
's coverage and wanted them to leave. Horman said the daily had failed to be a "team player."
"This is a team, and if we're not going to play as a team, there's no point in being here," Horman said. "This is about Kyron."
Denson objected, saying he's new to the story and after 28 years in journalism he's "a pretty good reporter." But there was no arguing. The family wanted The O
gone, and a woman who said she's a manager at the church escorted them out. The biggest newspaper in the state had been eighty-sixed.
I introduced myself and said I'm with Willamette Week
. Horman said the family has the same problem with WW
. I agreed to leave. And so the paper with the second-biggest circulation in Oregon was also kicked out.
As far as I was concerned, after getting kicked out all deals were off. I wasn't going to keep the meeting off the record.
According to a reporter who stayed, the family went on to lay out more "ground rules" for the future. They said they'd hold these "news conferences" (if you can call them that) twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, as time allows. They would make prepared statements, answer some questions submitted in writing and may also do occasional interviews.
"They want us to cover Kyron, and they're not going to get neck-deep in gossip and rumors," the reporter said.
ABC News convinced the family to make an on-the-record statement in front of one camera, with the tape available as pool footage for other reporters. After more than an hour inside the church, the reporters were sent outside while the family stayed in to prepare a statement.
The reporter at the scene said The Oregonian
had somehow gotten back on the family's good side and was among those waiting outside to hear the prepared statement.
At shortly after 12:30, the family emerged from the church and Desiree Young gave a brief statement in which she implored Terri Moulton Horman to cooperate with investigators. She also said the family believes Kyron is still alive. Check out the video with KATU's coverage here