As the search for 7-year-old Kyron Horman
continues, one of the most puzzling aspects has been rescue teams' repeated and intensive searches of Sauvie Island.
The island is more than five miles from rural Skyline Elementary School
, where Horman was reported missing June 4. But rescuers on horseback, on foot and in dive teams have repeatedly scoured the island beginning around June 10 and continuing this week — even after Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton called off
other major search operations last Sunday.
has learned that federal, county and city law-enforcement officials say the reason for the search of Sauvie Island is that cell-phone records reveal Kyron's step-mother, Terri Moulton Horman
, may have been on the island the day he disappeared.
And as searchers comb the island, law-enforcement officials say the investigation is increasingly focusing on the step-mother, because of problems with her account of what she was doing the day Kyron went missing.
This information comes from five separate law-enforcement officials from agencies at the city, county and federal level. To our knowledge, none is directly involved with the investigation.
But several said they've heard the same or similar accounts from multiple officials in the law-enforcement community. All agreed that Terri Moulton Horman has become a main focus of police attention because of problems with her story.
Four of the sources say they've heard Horman's story doesn't jibe with her cell-phone records from June 4.
Cell phones send off a signal called a "ping" to the nearest cell-phone tower when the phone is in use. With the help of cell-phone companies, law-enforcement officials and rescuers can use those signals to locate people (there's an explanation from the Chicago Tribune here
Horman has been the source of public speculation since early in the investigation. She reported seeing Kyron last in a school hallway about 8:45 a.m., when she says she was leaving him at the school and he was on his way to his homeroom.
Skeptics latched on to the fact Horman wrote on her Facebook page she was "hitting the gym." To some, that seemed out of character for a parent with a missing child. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office officials explained at a news conference that they'd told the family to continue their normal routine and try to stay healthy.
Members of the family spoke out for the first time publicly at a news conference June 11, but they did not take questions from reporters. Terri Moulton Horman is the second woman from the left in the photo below. She's seen comforting Kyron's biological mother, Desiree Young.