In an emotional and at times testy news conference today, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton
called off the 10-day search for Kyron Horman
, the 7-year-old who was reported to have disappeared from school June 4.
With tears in his eyes and a shaky voice, Staton said he's sending home rescue teams from across Oregon, Washington and California who have been scouring the area around rural Skyline Elementary School in Northwest Portland. Staton said his office will now focus on the case as a criminal investigation.
"While we still are keeping all options open, it is a natural progression to move the overall focus to a criminal case," said Capt. Monte Riser
. "It is very important to us that family and friends of Kyron, as well as the public, know that our commitment and resources are unwavering."
Riser said rescue teams had "completed the mission" by searching every location of interest — some of them multiple times. Sheriff's office officials said around 1,300 rescuers had been involved in the search, with 210 in the field today for the final day of the operation.
Staton was backed by the same four members of Kyron's family
who appeared at a news conference Friday, with Kyron's biological mother Desiree Young
again racked with sobs. The family did not speak or take questions, but Staton said they understand and support the shift in the investigation.
Staton's team from the sheriff's office was peppered with questions from reporters seeking specifics about the investigation. Capt. Jason Gates
finally told reporters to quit asking, saying he's already explained "ad nauseam" that he can't provide details.
"You know I can't answer that," Gates snapped when a reporter asked if the case is considered a kidnapping.
And in another sign of frayed tempers, this note was taped to the doors of the Brooks Hill Historic Church where the news conference was held. It refers to this article
in today's Sunday Oregonian