In the nearly three weeks since Kyron Horman disappeared, law enforcement officials, reporters and thousands of online commenters have focused their attention on the 7-year-old boy's fractured family.
The Sunday Oregonian devoted its front page June 20 to a story detailing relations between the boy's biological mother and stepfather, who live in Medford, and his father and stepmom, who lived with Kyron in Portland. The headline called them a "close, supportive group."
But a WW review of dozens of court documents paints a very different portrait. These documents reveal a family that has at times been divided by rocky divorce, suspicion and—in the case of one uncle—sex abuse.
This side of the family's history takes on new emphasis as the investigation into the boy's June 4 disappearance from Skyline Elementary School drags on. As first reported June 17 on wweek.com, sources in law enforcement say investigators are increasingly focusing on the stepmom's whereabouts the day Kyron vanished. She's the last person known to have seen the boy.
When he disappeared, Kyron was living with his father, Kaine Horman, and stepmom, Terri Moulton Horman, at their $292,000 home off secluded Northwest Sheltered Nook Road. Kaine Horman is an Intel engineer who made $90,000 back in 2002, according to court records.
Terri Moulton Horman is a former bodybuilder and ex-teacher who last worked for the Hillsboro School District, state records show. The Oregonian reports she gave birth to Kaine Horman's daughter, Kiara, in December 2008.
Kaine Horman had been married once before, to Kyron's biological mother, who now goes by the name Desiree Young. Washington County Circuit Court records show Young was pregnant with Kyron, the couple's only child, when she filed for divorce from Kaine in August 2002. She cited irreconcilable differences.
What hasn't been made public is the fact that, a month after filing for divorce, Young sought a restraining order against Kaine Horman, Kyron's dad.
At the time, she had a 7-year-old son from a previous marriage. In court documents, Young said she feared Kaine Horman would "remove our children from their residence." It's unclear whether the couple was living together at the time. Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Letourneau granted Young's request, forbidding either her or Kaine Horman from taking the children without the other's consent.
According to Washington County Circuit Court records, Terri Moulton Horman has been married twice before and has a 16-year-old son, James Moulton, from her first marriage. She married her second husband, Richard Ecker, in 1996. He adopted James in 1998, court records show.
Three years later, they filed for divorce. At the time the couple agreed James would stay with Terri Moulton Horman and visit Ecker three times a week. "I love him very much, and he calls me dad and always has," Ecker wrote in court records.
Although it's not been made public, court records reveal that in 2008—a year after she married Kaine Horman—Terri Moulton Horman wrote the court, saying Ecker had ceased all contact with the family for three years. Washington County ordered him to start paying $493 a month, and the issue has since faded from the public record.
That same year, Kaine Horman's brother, Kristian Horman, was arrested for child molestation.
Snohomish County Superior Court records say Kristian Horman, 32, was living with his girlfriend, her mother and his 1-year-old son in Bothell, Wash. On Oct. 24, 2008, the daughter of Kristian Horman's ex-wife stayed at his house while his girlfriend was out of town. The records say Kristian Horman invited the girl, who was 15, to sleep in his bed. He massaged her back, then began rubbing her crotch. The girl left the bed and called her mother, and Kristian Horman apologized.
When police interviewed him, Kristian Horman at first said he was asleep and couldn't remember what had happened. Finally he confessed, according to court records, saying he was trying to "arouse and initiate relations" with the girl.
Police asked Kristian Horman what he was thinking about after the girl pulled away. He then revealed there was a history of abuse in the Horman family, court records show, and said his grandfather had abused him.
"He indicated that he was thinking about all the stuff his grandfather had done to him," the court records say, "and remembering how he felt during the time." Kristian Horman was sentenced June 16 to six months in jail.